Needless to say, 2020 was quite the year for us all — IZZY notwithstanding.
We launched our beta platform in May, followed by our official launch in August.
We added a “professional CEO” — Nati Dinnar, a veteran of the Israeli TV commercial industry and film producer — and built out our team to more than 10 people strong!
We helped some of our team become new Israeli citizens, and launched new initiatives like the IZZY Film Clubs, IZZY For Educators, IZZY – The Magazine, and our docu-reality series Inside IZZY. I even wrote a book!
While 2020 was actually an amazing year for IZZY, we hope, like everyone, that 2021 will be a rebound year for our world.
We’ve also never been more energized to to continue our momentum by rolling out a variety of new initiatives, such as:
1. The IZZY Entertainment Fund
Based on dozens of conversations we’ve had with investors, Israeli entertainment executives, both Israeli and international filmmakers, and non-profit thought leaders, we created the IZZY Entertainment Fund.
The goals are to provide investors with an opportunity to directly invest in Israeli entertainment, which is largely an an untapped asset that can achieve tremendous financial outcomes, while also funding more productions which show different parts of Israel and Israeli culture which are not often depicted in mainstream productions like Fauda and Shtisel.
The fund will also allow for more Israeli programming in a variety of languages — not just in Hebrew, the official language of Israel — while also ensuring more Israeli filmmakers and entertainers get more opportunities to display their world-class talents!
2. IZZY Originals
Much of the programming coming out of Israel, both on IZZY and in other places, doesn’t really show the entire picture of Israeli culture, society, and history. This is because it is produced and funded by local players (mainly the TV channels and government-sanctioned film funds), and what’s in large part interesting to international audiences is not interesting to the local Israeli market, so internationally minded productions often don’t get made.
With IZZY Originals, we plan to identify and fund a variety of productions — such as movies, TV shows, documentaries, and docu-reality series — which are made with international audiences in mind first and foremost. This will come to fruition in two ways:
- Topics and subjects
- Languages (e.g. English, Spanish, Arabic)
3. IZZY Cinemas
It’s no surprise that the global cinema industry lost $32 billion in 2020, a 71.5-percent reduction in revenue compared to 2019.
But, on the other hand, e-commerce sales reached $839.02 billion in 2020, a growth of 40.3 percent from 2019, and more than 70% of homes now have a smart TV in major markets, such as the USA and Europe.
All of this paves the way for a new product we’re starting to develop which we call Direct-to-Consumer Cinema. The idea is that we (IZZY) offer new films straight to the people who matter most — the audience — therefore bypassing intermediaries such as distributors, TV channels, and telecommunications companies, while giving the filmmakers (the real talents) a bigger piece of the pie, and giving you an opportunity to watch new Israeli films on-demand, from your living room or anywhere else in the world!
It’s time to move away from selling our incredible content to middlemen, and move toward selling it straight to customers. We have this unbelievably passionate base of Israeli entertainment connoisseurs worldwide. Now we have the opportunity to connect with them directly, build long-term relationships, and enjoy the fruits of their relentless patronage.