Season 3 of “False Flag” unveiled at the Berlinale

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In “False Flag” Season 3, Streamaze, an Israeli high-tech company, suffers a chemical attack in a hotel orchestrated by terrorists.

Or does it? Maybe it was an attack on an individual gone wrong.

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Cutting-edge Mossad data analysis identifies three suspects, all with possible motives for the attack, one of whose victims is Israel’s culture minister. But suspicion does not make them guilty.

The main character of “False Flag”, Eitan Koppel, is once again sent to investigate and is still two steps ahead of the local police. But even in episode one, as possible explanations proliferate, the show, as in seasons one and two, constantly pulls the rug from under the viewer’s feet, suggesting that the so-called culprit may be innocent and innocent guilty, as a more nuanced and complex picture. emerges.

In its constant warnings against bias, “False Flag,” a propulsive thriller, takes on a resonant ethical undertone in a world of internet trolling and bias-fueled geopolitical conflict.

Directed by Oded Ruskin (“No Man’s Land”) “False Flag” contains an impeccable pedigree. Created by Amit Cohen and Maria Feldman and produced by Keshet Broadcasting, it proved a landmark title that helped transform the Israeli series into a global brand, with Fox International taking the world on season 1 at Mipcom 2015 in its world’s first acquisition of a foreign language series.

Winner of the Prix du Public and the Grand Prix de France’s Series Mania, its first season was selected by Berlin as a Berlinale Special, its second as part of its Berlinale Series.

Chosen for the new Berlinale Series Market Selects, the first two episodes of Season 3 of “False Flag” will be screened on February 16 in Berlin. It is set to bow in Israel on March 23 on Keshet 12, then premiere on Fox International Channels’ network of more than 200 channels around the world, in a sale brokered by Keshet Int’l. .

It’s “Suspicion” – based on “False Flag”, with Uma Thurman, and now with Rob Williams (“Man in the High Castle”, “Killing Eve”) as showrunner – bowed on 4 February as Apple Original on Apple Plus, produced in the UK by Keshet Productions, the UK production arm of Keshet International.

Season 2 creators Feldman and Leora Kamenetzky returned for Season 3, where the latter served as lead writer and Cohen takes an EP credit. Variety spoke to them ahead of the Berlinale Series Market.

Inscribing the classic roller coaster of plot twists, turns, and missteps, “False Flag” builds a cohesive case against the dangers of quick pre-judgment that takes on a near-ethical force. Could you comment?

Feldman: Generally in “False Flag,” but even more so in the third season, one of the main themes of the show is: Who is this person? What you see is not the real person. Even their closest family doesn’t really know them. You have to question everything you think. In the third season, this theme is even more pronounced.

Kamenetzky: This third season is about the internet and high technology, and how we perceive things in the internet age. It’s more complex than the first two seasons. I feel like maybe also with the influence of all the data and misinformation we’re getting at this time, it’s getting harder and harder to decipher between what’s right and what’s wrong.

A challenge for a new season of a highly successful show is that you’re being asked to be fresh, but also not disappoint the show’s fan base. How did you approach this?

Feldman: It’s very, very difficult, especially with “False Flag” because, even though the audience wants them to come back, we can’t use the same characters. With each season, we discover all their secrets and learn who they are. So if we bring them back, we’ll have to write a completely different kind of series. What we found out is that we can keep the lead investigator. But it’s still very difficult, even more difficult for season 3.

Kamenetzky: Each season works like a different miniseries, a completely different story, completely new characters and yes, it’s a challenge, although now I think we kind of understand the key elements that need to be integrated. But it’s still a challenge to find the right story, characters, and plot twists and continue for eight episodes.

In its nuanced attitude to character – suspects look innocent but may not be as innocent as they appear – “False Flag” echoes much of modern high-end entertainment by suggesting that it is not There are no good or bad people, just people responsible for good or bad deeds. . Could you comment?

Kamenetzky: No one is inherently good or bad. We face different situations in our lives and function according to how our life takes us. I’m not saying there is no choice, but generally society is so much stronger than the individual. And so in a way, we’re molded into the roles that we’re meant to play. So, yeah, that’s what modern television is, modern cinema.

“False Flag” Season 1 was one of the first TV series to screen at the Berlinale, in 2015. Its distribution deal with Fox proved one of the big steps in the global reach of the original scripted series. not English….

Feldman: When we were working on Season 1, the shows weren’t traveling. The only way for them to travel overseas was as a remake. So, working on it, “Homeland” kind of succeeded. And the dream of every Israeli producer and creator was to make your little Israeli show that will be sold to big Hollywood, a remake. The first time we watched the show was at the Berlinale on the big screen with a thousand international people. It’s an Israeli show and they loved it. For me, it was a revelation: “Oh my God, they can watch it.”

I think everyone kind of understood – and not because of our show, it was the moment in 2015 – like all of a sudden, you can just watch an international show from another country. What changed for us, for the entire Israeli and probably international society of filmmakers, was that we realized that the shows we were doing could be watched by an international audience. That said, I don’t think that fact really affected us, in terms of writing, directing or budget.

Maria Feldman, Leora Kamenetzky - Credit: Credit: /Sigrid Estrada

Maria Feldman, Leora Kamenetzky – Credit: Credit: /Sigrid Estrada

Credit: /Sigrid Estrada

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