Netflix and VRT, Belgium’s public-service broadcaster for the Flemish community, are partnering to commission “Diamonds,” an eight-part crime drama set in the heart of the world’s largest diamond district.
Rotem Shamir and Danny Steg
Netflix and VRT, Belgium’s public-service broadcaster for the Flemish community, are partnering to commission “Diamonds,” an eight-part crime drama set in the heart of the world’s largest diamond district. Co-created by Yuval Yefet and Rotem Shamir, “Diamonds” will be co-produced by Keshet International and De Mensen, one of Belgium’s leading production companies.
The story of a proud, centuries-old world fighting for survival within a new, rapidly changing reality, “Diamonds” is set within Antwerp’s influential diamond-dealing district and centers on the traditional ultra-orthodox Jewish community operating there - now weakened, divided and dethroned.
The 8x50’ crime drama follows the struggles and strife of one of Antwerp’s most influential diamond-dealing families, The Wagners. When their youngest son commits suicide, his long-estranged brother Noah returns to take charge of the family business, using methods that are anything but orthodox in a desperate bid to save himself and his family.
A multi-language drama to be shot in Dutch, English and Yiddish, “Diamonds” has been commissioned by Netflix alongside VRT’s Head of Scripted, Wim Janssen, and is supported by Screen Flanders. Filming is slated to begin later this summer for a 2022 premiere on both Netflix and VRT.
“Diamonds” will be executive produced by De Mensen’s Head of Scripted, Pieter Van Huyck, and Ivy Vanhaecke, alongside KI’s VP of Global Drama, Atar Dekel; KI’s Alon Shtruzman and Keshet Media Group’s Avi Nir. Rotem Shamir will be in charge of the direction.
“We are excited to join forces with the fantastic teams at De Mensen, Keshet International and VRT to bring the exciting story of ‘Diamonds’ to Netflix members globally,” said Janey van Ierland, Manager Co-Productions and Acquisitions at Netflix.
Olivier Goris, Channel Manager of Eén (VRT), commented: “I am very proud that our channel Eén can realize this new TV series set in Antwerp together with Netflix. ‘Diamonds’ is a unique cooperation: the gifted Flemish production company De Mensen working together with the international talent Keshet. Combined with the talent on screen, which we’ll be announcing soon, ‘Diamonds’ will be a TV series you can’t miss. With this new fiction show we can put an international spotlight on our local talent, and bring a thrilling crime drama to everyone in Flanders”.
Keshet International’s Atar Dekel added: “Following the success of series like ‘Prisoners of War,’ ‘False Flag,’ ‘When Heroes Fly,’ ‘Our Boys,’ and ‘The Baker and the Beauty’ in the US and UK, we are really excited to see Israeli IP and creative talent now travelling to territories like Belgium. Yuval, Rotem and Keshet have been nurturing ‘Diamonds’ with the brilliant team at De Mensen for some time, waiting for the perfect partners to come on board. We are thrilled to be working alongside VRT and Netflix to bring this exciting series to both Belgian and international audiences”.
Lastly, De Mensen’s Pieter Van Huyck declared: “At De Mensen, we have long dreamed of telling an exciting, moving and revealing story about that world-famous place in our country that at the same time is known by few: the Antwerp diamond district. With Keshet we found the right partner. We share the same vision on storytelling and always want to create the ideal environment for creatives to work. Just like our previous international successes ‘Undercover,’ ‘Hotel Beau Séjour’ and ‘Salamander,’ ‘Diamonds’ must be layered and nuanced, while appealing to a wide audience who enjoy high-end entertainment”.
With Keshet we found the right partner. We share the same vision on storytelling and always want to create the ideal environment for creatives to work” Pieter Van Huyck Head of Scripted at De Mensen