Ron Leshem

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Ron Leshem
Ron Leshem
Ron Leshem, by Eldad Refaeli at the 2006 Sapir Prize
Ron Leshem

(1976-12-20) December 20, 1976 (age 45)
Tel-Aviv, Israel
NationalityAmerican, Israeli
  • Author
  • Filmmaker
  • Producer
  • Television executive
Years active1998–present

Ron Leshem (Hebrew: רון לשם; born December 20, 1976), is an Israeli-American television and film writer and producer, best known for the television series Euphoria, and for the film Beaufort, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He is also a bestselling author, translated to 20 languages.

As a novelist he has won some of the top Israeli literary awards, among them the prestigious annual Sapir Prize for Literature in 2006.[1]

Early life and education

Ron Leshem was born December 20, 1976 in Tel Aviv, Israel, to a Jewish family. His parents are Ziva and Gideon Leshem.

News career

Leshem served as a soldier in the Intelligence Corps of the Israel Defense Forces. Subsequently, he spent three years as an Israeli reporter from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, later on he was promoted as head of the news division at the most widely circulated newspaper in Israel Yediot Ahronot, for which he also wrote as an analyst for military affairs. By the age of 26, he started serving as deputy chief editor for Ma'ariv, one of the three major newspapers in Israel.[2] He was the paper's youngest ever deputy editor.[3] Additionally, he wrote short stories for Le Monde newspaper (France) as well as various columns in several European newspapers.[citation needed]

Leshem is often invited as a speaker to universities, including: Harvard, Yale, BU, and Berkeley. Leshem has also taken part in more than 60 festivals and book fairs.[citation needed]

Writing and producing career

Keshet and Beaufort

In 2005 he left print media and began working in television.[3] From 2006 until 2009, Leshem was head of content and programming for Keshet Broadcasting. He oversaw development and production for Israeli TV series such as Arab Labor, the A-word, Traffic Light,[4] and Homeland, an adaptation of his show Prisoners of War.[4]

As a novelist he won the prestigious annual literary award the Sapir Prize for Literature in 2006[1] for his debut novel Beaufort,[5][6] which was published in 2006 in Hebrew.[6] The story is written as the diary of a young army officers, when IDF soldiers were protecting Beaufort Castle in northern Israel.[6] Beaufort was on the Israel bestseller list for 2 years,[citation needed] sold 120,000 copies in Israel, was distributed in 22 countries,[7] and was translated into more than 20 languages.[citation needed] The film version of Beaufort,[7] which Leshem co-wrote,[8] was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film,[9] and won the Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear for Best Director.[10]

Leshem’s second book The Underground Bazaar reached also the bestseller list and was translated into numerous languages.[citation needed]

Executive producing and co-writing

Leshem created and co-wrote the drama series The Gordin Cell,[8] which received 11 nominations for the Israeli Academy of Film and Television awards in 2011. The TV series was adapted by NBC as Allegiance.[4] In 2014, he was commissioned to develop the script for Crater Lake.[11]

Furthermore, Leshem co-created and co-wrote the series Euphoria,[8] for Hot (2012).[citation needed] In 2018, he joined the American production of Euphoria as an executive producer.[12] It was released on HBO.[8]

He and Amit Cohen struck a long-term development deal with Red Arrow Studios International in 2018, preparing to create a new scripted drama label.[13]

The Israeli film Incitement by Yaron Zilberman, which Leshem co-wrote, premiered at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival. The film received 10 nominations for the Israeli Academy of Film and Television awards.[citation needed] He served as a story editor for the series Beauty and the Baker.[citation needed] Alongside his long-time writing partner, Amit Cohen, Leshem co-wrote and co-created the Syrian Civil War drama No Man's Land, an American-French co-production, which Hulu and Arte ordered straight to series in spring 2019.[citation needed]

In the summer of 2019, production began on Israel’s Valley of Tears,[citation needed] an 8-part mini-series set in the Yom Kippur War, which Leshem co-created with Cohen, Daniel Amsel, Yaron Zilberman, Gal Zaid, and Izhar Has-Lev.[14] It was picked up by HBO in 2020[15] and released as the "biggest-budget TV drama series" in Israel.[16]

In 2019, Leshem published in Israel his novel When we were beautiful (Hebrew: יפים כמו שהיינו), and announced it will be translated to English by Jessica Cohen.[citation needed]

In 2019, he signed with Anonymous Content along with his frequent co-writer Amit Cohen, with whom he'd recently worked on the Hulu series Fertile Crescent, about the Syrian Civil War starring James Purefoy.[8] Leshem, Cohen, and Xabi Molia wrote the eight episodes of Fertile Crescent.[17] In November 2020, he was again partnering with WestEnd Films and Cohen on a new TV thriller, along with the company Anton.[18]

Personal life

Leshem lives in both Boston and Los Angeles.[19]



Year Title Credited as
Creator Writer Producer Editor
2011-2013 The Gordin Cell Yes Yes Yes No
2012 Euphoria Yes Yes Yes No
2015 Allegiance No Yes[20] Yes No
2015 Spy Yes No No No
2013–2015 Beauty and the Baker No No No Yes
2019-present Euphoria (HBO) No Yes[21][8] Yes No
2020-present No Man's Land[22] Yes Yes Yes No
2020-present Valley of Tears[23] Yes Yes Yes No


Year Title
Director Writer Executive
2007 Beaufort No Yes[3][8] Yes
2019 Incitement No Yes Yes

As development executive


Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2006 The Sapir Prize for Literature Best Novel of The Year Beaufort Won [1]
Yitzhak Sadeh Prize Best Novel of The Year Beaufort Won
2007 Ophir Award, Israeli Academy Awards Best Screenplay Beaufort Nominated [24]
2008 80th Academy Awards Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film,[25] Beaufort Nominated
2012 Israeli Television Academy Awards Best Drama Series The Gordin Cell Nominated [10]
Best Screenplay for Drama Series Nominated
Series Mania Festival Forum Des Images[26] Nominated
2013 Israeli Television Academy Awards Best Drama Series Euphoria Nominated
Best Screenplay for Drama Series Nominated
2014 Israeli Television Academy Awards Best Drama Series The Gordin Cell (2nd season) Nominated
Best Screenplay for Drama Series Nominated
2019 Ophir Award, Israeli Academy Awards Best Film for 2019 Incitement Won [27]
2020 Series Mania Festival The Official Competition No Man's Land Nominated [28]
Valley of Tears[16] Nominated
British Academy Television Awards Best International Programme Euphoria Nominated


  1. ^ a b c "Sapir Prize goes to Ron Leshem". Haaretz. 2006.
  2. ^ "Ron Leshem". The Ohio State University.
  3. ^ a b c Rudzki, Justin (December 21, 2007). "Looking for paradise with author Ron Leshem [VIDEO]". Israel 21 C. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Ron Leshem". America-Israel Cultural Foundation. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Beaufort, British trade paperback edition. London: Harvill Secker
  6. ^ a b c Sarah Pres, Viva (December 28, 2006). "Right to Left". The Jerusalem Post.
  7. ^ a b Leshem, Ron. "Ron Leshem, Our man in Tehran". Haaretz.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Sun, Rebecca (June 26, 2019). "Original 'Euphoria' Creator Ron Leshem Signs With Anonymous Content (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "Ron Leshem". The Program in Jewish Culture & Society. September 12, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Ron Leshem – Awards".
  11. ^ "Ron Leshem signs French-UK TV deal". Times of Israel. June 30, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  12. ^ Porter, Rick (July 30, 2018). "HBO Orders 'Euphoria' to Series, Drake Joins as Executive Producer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  13. ^ White, Peter (November 20, 2018). "'The Gordin Cell' Creators Amit Cohen & Ron Leshem Launch Red Arrow Studios International-Backed Drama Label". Deadline. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  14. ^ Parfitt, Orlando (February 19, 2020). "Series Mania reveals 2020 competition line-up". ScreenDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  15. ^ Steinberg, Jessica (October 14, 2020). "HBO purchases rights for Israeli TV series about Yom Kippur War". The Times of Israel. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Hopewell, John (March 25, 2020). "Official SeriesMania Competition 2020". Variety.
  17. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (June 13, 2019). "James Purefoy to Star in Syrian Civil War Drama for Hulu". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  18. ^ Barraclough, Leo (November 12, 2020). "Ron Leshem, Amit Cohen Thriller to Spearhead Anton, WestEnd TV Series Slate". Variety. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  19. ^ "Representing Israel's Top Speakers Authors, Filmmakers, and Cultural Icons". Lion House Agency. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  20. ^ Based on his original series "The Gordin Cell".
  21. ^ Based on his original series "Euphoria".
  22. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (November 18, 2020). "'No Man's Land': TV Review". Hollywood Reporter.
  23. ^ Filming began on spring 2019
  24. ^ "Beaufort, Academy Awards".
  25. ^ "80th Academy Awards Nominations Announced" (Press release). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2008-01-22. Archived from the original on 27 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  26. ^ "Forum Des Images, Paris 2020".
  27. ^ Caspi, David (2020). "Incitement wins the Israeli Oscars". The Hollywood Reporter.
  28. ^ "Leshem's two series entering the Series Mania 2020 official competition". Series Mania. 2020.

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