‘Colorful, romantic’ drama of pre-state Israel to air this summer

“The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” an ambitious, historical, multigenerational costume drama series distributed by Yes Studios, the Tel Aviv producer of “Fauda,” “Shtisel” and “Your Honor,” unveiled its trailer Monday, ahead of its early summer release in Israel.

Adapted from the bestselling novel of the same name by Sarit Yishai-Levi, the series begins in 1917, bringing to life the story of a family in pre-state Palestine during the eras of the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate and Israel’s War of Independence.

“There is a first time for everything and ‘The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem’ is our first foray into costume drama: lush, colorful, romantic and historic — it’s a great combination as we’re all looking for a little escape to another time and place,” said Danna Stern from Yes Studios, which is distributing the series.

Period dramas about issues are as relevant as ever, as is this family tale of different generations that keep making the same mistakes over and over again, said Dafna Prenner, co-producer with Shai Eines at Artza Productions.

Actor Itzik Cohen in ‘The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,’ a historical series from Yes Studios (Courtesy Nati Levi)

“‘The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem’ is a story that Shai and I found impossible to resist,” said Prenner.

Filmed in Hebrew, English, Ladino, Turkish and Arabic, “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem” will air on Yes TV this summer. It is the broadcaster’s largest financial investment to date, and one of the most expensive productions ever made in Israel. Yes TV commissioned two seasons of the series.

Filming took place during the summer of 2020, with production closely following COVID-19 protocols. The series was shot throughout the country including at historical locations in Jerusalem and Safed.

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