Netflix CEO tells Israeli students he’s looking for ‘local stories’

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos told film students he’s looking for “local, authentic stories,” while speaking with actress Shira Haas at Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School.

The streaming giant CEO was visiting the Jerusalem film school, following the Netflix first-time investment in young Israeli creators as part of the new Series Lab.

During Sarandos’s conversation with Haas, the star of Netflix hits like “Unorthodox,” he spoke about the streaming giant’s pride in its affiliation with Sam Spiegel.

“All you need is community, and if we learned anything tonight it is that the world needs you,” said Sarandos. “Your projects are going to change the world. It might take a year, it might take 10. But it’s going to happen. That’s why we are so proud of this affiliation, the first of its kind.”

Sarandos spoke about a greater global interest in new things, with language presenting less of a barrier than it did once.

“Ultimately great stories can come from anywhere and there are universally relevant themes of the human condition,” he said.

Sarandos and Haas spoke about the desire of Israeli creators to work with Netflix to tell their stories on the global stage. Sarandos noted that great stories can come from anywhere, and “be loved everywhere.”

“Language is not a barrier for us,” he said. “Some of our biggest hits are non-English including ‘Squid Game,’ ‘La Casa’ and ‘Lupin.’”

Dana Blankstein Cohen, executive director of Sam Spiegel, said it was an honor to host Sarandos.

“Netflix understands that powerful talents are emerging here, and Sarandos expressed great interest in what we do here at the school,” said Blankstein Cohen.

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