yes Studios, the Israeli producer and distributor best-known for hit drama series such as Fauda, Your Honour and Shtisel and comedies including Bloody Murray, On the Spectrum and Significant Other, today announces its drive into premium factual with the international launch of its first feature documentary, 44 Hours.
The film is a yes Docu and Einat-Emma Shamir production, co-produced with Neue Celluloid Fabrik Filmproduktion and SWR, in co-operation with ARTE and directed by Rotem Gross. yes Studios handles the worldwide distribution for the documentary.
44 Hours (1 x 83) tells the riveting, unbelievable and profoundly moving story of Gil Avni, a sports-mad, healthy 33-year-old father of two, who was rushed to hospital after being taken suddenly ill. When he is swiftly pronounced brain-dead and given only a few hours to live, his family and friends visit to say their goodbyes. What nobody knows – neither the medical team nor his relatives – is that Gil is aware of what is happening around him and can hear every single word, which he memorises.
Totally paralysed and unable to voice the screaming in his head, he feels like a guest at his own funeral. And just when he comes to terms with the fact that, after 44 hours, he’s about to die, he astonishingly wakes up and recounts every single minute of his harrowing locked-in experience.
With only two other known cases worldwide, his story provides the world’s first living testimony of a locked-in syndrome. Featuring interviews with a fully recovered Gil, his family and the lead medics that cared for him, this incredible story of coming back from the dead is life-affirming and truly the stuff of miracles. His unique case and subsequent work with medics in Israel have led to important changes in medical ethics and protocols regarding teetering on the verge between life and death.
Sharon Levi, managing director at yes Studios, comments: “yes Studios' scripted programming has been successful worldwide as we always seek out great stories with universal appeal. We are now evolving our business to incorporate premium factual programming; whether produced for yes TV, co-produced by us or from producers worldwide, our factual focus will be on presenting buyers with the most compelling, thought-provoking and surprising stories we can find.
“We could not be more delighted to announce this strategy with the launch of such a powerful, moving and ultimately uplifting title as 44 Hours – a film which immediately generated strong co-production interest from our partners ARTE in France and SWR in Germany. There is lots to learn from Gil’s experience and, as a result, even more to debate around the treatment and understanding of coma patients. Our hope is that this film extends the conversation around the world.”
yes Studios will be taking 44 Hours to MIPTV in Cannes next month as a major focus on its new slate.