Lion TV have acquired the option to develop BBC Middle East editor Raffi Berg's debut Red Sea Spies: The True Story of Mossad's Fake Diving Resort as a television documentary.
Red Sea Spies, to be published by Icon Books in February 2020, “is the first-ever book to describe an extraordinary humanitarian mission by one of the world’s most-feared intelligence agencies, the Mossad, based on the accounts of those who took part,” Icon said. In the mid-1980s, working undercover at a fake diving resort in Sudan, Mossad agents smuggled more than 7,000 Ethiopian Jewish refugees out of the country at great risk and brought them to Israel. Pieced together from many hours of first-hand interviews, including with the commander of the operation, ‘Dani’, and his team, Red Sea Spies will be published in the UK in February 2020 and in the US in April.
Lion TV, a UK production company specialising in factual and entertainment programmes, has acquired TV rights.
Icon publisher Duncan Heath said: “Raffi’s book is an incredibly filmic, pacey narrative that will suit TV or film adaptation fantastically well. We’re thrilled that Lion share our faith in Raffi's work and look forward to seeing it adapted for the small screen.”
Lion TV m.d. Nick Catliff added: “I have benefitted from Raffi’s editorial advice when working on BBC projects in the past and I have huge respect for the quality of his journalism and the depth of his knowledge. In Red Sea Spies he has done a brilliant job uncovering the true story and the real people behind this audacious Mossad operation. It is a great piece of investigative journalism as well as a gripping narrative and I am looking forward to working with Raffi to make what will be an epic documentary.”