Belgian banner De Mensen and Keshet International (KI) have kicked off the shoot of “Diamonds, ” a family crime thriller series penned by Yuval Yefet and Rotem Shamir, the pair behind “Fauda” and “Line in the Sand.”
Ordered by Netflix and Belgian public broadcaster Eén, the series follows a Jewish Ultra-Orthodox family in Belgium’s Antwerp Diamond Square Mile.
The eight-part series stars Belgian actor Kevin Janssens as Noah Wolfson, who returns to Antwerp where he reconnects with his family and the ultra-orthodox Jewish way of life which he had rebelled against. Noah discovers that his brother has ruined the once powerful family business by trading diamonds with sketchy people. Despite tense relations with his parents, brother and sister, Noah attempts to save the business but gets embroiled in a criminal world.
Janssens stars opposite Dudu Fisher, Yona Elian, Mendy Cahan, Ini Massez, Robbie Cleiren, Jeroen Vander Ven, Marie Vinck and Els Dottermans, among others.
“Creating and starting ‘Diamonds’ wasn’t an evident plan,” said said Pieter Van Huyck, head of scripted at De Mensen.
The executive said the show explores “two arenas that are woven with each other but who are unknown for the public: the intense family bonds and life inside the Jewish community and the Diamonds business in Antwerp.”
Janssens said he’s been living in Antwerp (…) in the neighborhood where many Jews are living” and admitted that he doesn’t know much about their way of living. “It’s such an intriguing and mysterious world. It is a present for me that due to this role, I got the chance to learn the Jewish culture. I’m studying hard and I hope to not disappoint them with my Yiddish,” added the actor.
The series is indeed shooting in Dutch, English and Yiddish, which has demanded an intense preparation for the Flemish cast.
Atar Dekel, KI’s VP of Global Drama, said the Belgian and Israeli writing and directing teams have worked “extremely well” to “come together to bring this very local but relatable family drama to screen for VRT and Netflix. Dekel said the Belgians and Israelis working on the show are speaking the same language creatively-speaking.