Television

Life is more imaginative than fiction in a story like POW, says writer-director Gideon Raff

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/10/25/POW_0.jpg?itok=vguQ7MW7

MUMBAI: Sometimes, coming back home after 17 years is not always a happy ending. "Prisoners of War" is the story of three Israeli soldiers, who were held captive for that many years following their kidnapping while on a secret mission with their unit.

The man behind penning down a beautiful story full of emotions, Israeli film and television director, screenwriter and producer Gideon Raff was in India to visit the sets of "POW- Bandi Yuddh Ke" which is the Indian adaptation of its Israeli version "Hatufim". It was also made into 'Homeland',a runaway global hit, courtesy US cable network Showtime.

"POW- Bandi Yuddh Ke" will be aired from 7 November at 10.30pm on Star Plus.

“I love the set of POW, it is very much similar to the Israeli version, Nikkhil Advani has done a great job,” says Raff in an interview with indiantelevision.com.  Talking about the Indian adaptation, Raff informs that he met the entire cast of the show and loved the way Nikkhil has directed the story.

Commenting on the production cost of the original "Hatufim" (US$ 200,000), Raff says, “ It doesn’t matter how expensive the show is. Nothing can be better if connects with the audience because something is real about it.” Raff has not seen any Indian series so far, but he is eagerly waiting for the Indian version and, with "POW- Bandi Yuddh Ke", he looks forward to watch more Indian content.

Excerpts:

How did you come up with the idea of "Prisoners of War"?

Israel is a very small country, and we all go to the army for the sake of training. The real stories of prisoners of war being brought back home always fascinated me. We learned that the government pays a high price to bring them back but we don’t hear about them once they are back. I started researching about the reasons.

When they came back, they go through a very tough journey and many of them have symptoms of Post Commencement Stress Disorder (PCSD), many of them can’t get a job, and many of them get divorced. There is a high percentage of emotional and physical diseases among the PoWs. I found that it’s worth telling the story of people coming back, and that coming back is the first episode and not the last one.

I researched and met many prisoners of war and spoke to their kids, sisters, wives, parents and doctors, and found that it’s a story that has to be told.  I realized that there is a world of drama there that hasn’t been tapped into. And, it is a fact when they come back, it’s not a happy ending.

Israel is known for its air force and military. Everybody needs to serve in the forces for a fixed period. Has this created a general demand for stories that speak of the lives of soldiers?

When I started my show, I thought it’s a story of soldiers, but it’s not. It's a story of the people of Israel, and now it’s a story of Indians. It’s not a military show in that sense.

public://POW.jpg

You were also drafted into the Israeli army. Please share your experience while you were there. Do your experiences reflect in the story?

Yes, it does. I can pinpoint what are my experiences. But, the fact is that I am an Israeli, the fact is that I was in army for three years all of that is a part of my story-telling. Also, the part that I am vegan is a part of storytelling and I am gay is a part too. But, there are significant lessons from the years in the army -- definitely.

How do you think the story will be received in India? Are you happy with the little changes that have been made in the storyline and setting?

I think Star (Star Plus) is very brave to take a story like this and Nikhil (Nikhil Advani ) is very brave in the way he told the story. You can only do the best as an artiste, and then it's in the hands of the audience. I think and hope that whatever happened in the Israeli version as they recognized the reality and truth about human conditions and really wanted to see more. I hope the same happens in India as well. I support the changes that have been made.

How different was it to collaborate with the Indian broadcaster as compared to the US?

I was more hands-on in the US version, and in the Indian version, I am more of a fan and spectator. They kept me in the loop and told me stuff, they loved to hear my ideas.

How are shows such as Hatufim adapted for different territories? Which was an easier adaptation?

The Indian version is an adaptation of "Prisoners of War", and is very close to the Israeli version in terms of storyline, plot, emotions and the journey that characters go through. In the American version, we took the interrogation, the investigation part into the heart of the show because that was a bit easy for Americans to digest.

Why is it important to have a real-life stories such as those of prisoners and then create fiction around it? Couldn't there be pure work of fiction?

Life is more imaginative than fiction in a story like POW and people have lived this. Hence, there is a responsibility to tell a story which is incredible. It is based on real life and real facts, and then fictionalised and pushed to make little bit dramatic.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/11/ANDTV.jpg?itok=HS7ohgMU
&TV presents life story of Babasaheb - ‘Ek Mahanayak - Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’

MUMBAI: &TV is launching a new powerful socio-drama titled Ek Mahanayak – Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Produced by Smruti Shinde’s SOBO Films, the show is an inspirational story of Babasaheb and his journey from the tender age of five, to him becoming the prime architect of the Indian constitution. The...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/11/kids.jpg?itok=vYCfvrP_
Honey-Bunny double up as the perfect hosts for the first ever YAY! Time Brunch

MUMBAI: The holiday season is just around the corner and no one looks forward to them as much as kids. The season witnesses unprecedented enthusiasm, good cheer and lavish feasts. To take the festive fervor a notch higher, Sony YAY! – the kids entertainment channel from Sony Pictures Networks India...

Television TV Channels Kids
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/11/naggin.jpg?itok=Tz9M9FRw
COLORS brings back television’s most popular, Naagin

MUMBAI: The much awaited Naagin is back! She is back to seek vengeance, to deceive you with her beauty, to either love you or fight you for what she’s lost. Owing to its massive popularity and consecutive successful seasons, COLORS biggest fiction franchise ‘Naagin’ is here with another captivating...

Television TV Channels GECs
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/11/mah.jpg?itok=eC2nxeiZ
BARC India appoints Mahendra Upadhyay as chief information officer

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC India), the largest TV measurement company in the world has appointed Mahendra Upadhyay as the chief information officer.

Television TV Channels People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/11/chrome.jpg?itok=JZZ-6wtv
Music genre becomes top gainer in Chrome DM week 49

Music genre has become the top gainer in week 49 of Chrome Data Analytics and Media data. The genre grew by 1.86 per cent. In this genre, 9XM channel gained the highest OTS with 92.7 per cent in HSM excluding

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/10/shemaroo.jpg?itok=1_dwXWSI
Shemaroo Entertainment launches ComiCon

MUMBAI: To engage and entertain Bollywood fanatics, Shemaroo Entertainment has aesthetically converted iconic movies into delightful comic format. Iconic Bollywood movies will now be available as comic books for Bollywood fans to read and experience the fun through words. These comics will be...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/10/jumnji.jpg?itok=3520HKSU
&flix brings the #FlixFirstScreening of ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’

MUMBAI: A terrifying jungle, gigantic beasts and a squad on the run! &flix, the destination for the biggest Hollywood hits, is set to bring the next #FlixFirstScreening – catch the adventure-fantasy hit ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’. A chance to #LeapForth into the world of action, adventure and...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/10/zee.jpg?itok=FuLq3Ylh
Zee Telugu to premiere ‘Dhrusti’ on 15 Dec

MUMBAI: Zee Telugu always brings the best of Telugu entertainment with a wide array of classic movies for its viewers on small screen. Decked with cinematic splendor and super visual experience, the channel has always taken the onus to showcase new enchanting movies for its audience, since...

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/10/times.jpg?itok=rKjFtFg6
Times Network announces its signature event Times Network India Economic Conclave 2019

MUMBAI: After the phenomenal success of its regional chapters, Times Network, announces its annual signature event, Times Network India Economic Conclave 2019 (IEC). Driving this edition’s theme, ‘$5 Trillion – Aspiration to Action’, the two-day conclave on December 16 & 17 in Mumbai brings...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories