International Emmy Awards judging held in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Judging is not an easy task and especially when it is for the International Emmy Awards which are considered as the Oscars of the television world. founder Anil Wanvari once again - for the ninth year - hosted the semi-final judging round of The International Emmy Awards for the New York-based International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. A bevy of Indian television professionals - 12 of them from both on screen and off screen - descended on to the Raheja Classique Club, in the Andheri suburb of Mumbai on 23 August to decide which of the entries - from two categories, comedy and telenovellas - would get into the final round of the International Emmy Awards 2013. The International Emmys had a healthy response from television content creators and broadcasters world wide with more than 1000 entries pouring in, but the Mumbai leg of judging saw seven entries for comedy and four entries for telenovelas being judged.

The jury comprised of producers, directors, actors and writers. The ones judging comedy were: Anita Basu, Amit Aaryan, Harshad Joshi, Prabal Baruah and Divyanka Tripathi. On the other hand, Meghna Malik, Ashka Goradia, Shruti Ulfat, Rajan Shahi, Yash Patnaik and Sudhir Sharma were judging the telenovela category.

Founded in 1969, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences promotes excellence in international television programming. With more than 700 members from 50 companies in the media and entertainment space in 500 countries, it is the International Emmy Awards are the premier recognition for those involved in content creation in television, internet, and mobile.

"It is always a pleasure to have India as a part of our judging which is taking place in more than 20 countries worldwide this year," says The International Emmy judging director Nathaniel Brendel. "And we are delighted to have and Anil Wanvari as our hosting partner, like we have done for so many years."

"The International Emmys is a recognition producers and broadcasters and creators globally aspire for," says Wanvari. "By hosting the judging we continue the very good relationship we have with the International Academy and we also become a part of a global initiative. This apart, it gives me and my company a good opportunity to give the Indian creative and production community exposure to the best in global content. We are grateful to the Academy."

After the first round of shortlisting and filtration, six to seven entries for each category make it to the semi-final round. Following this, the entries are posted online for final jurors to decide on the final nominees and winners. The main two criteria of judging are content and execution. Indian industry professionals were more than happy with Wanvari's initiative to host the judging and on being called to do International Emmy jury duty.

Says comedy juror Big Synergy director / producer Anita Basu: “This is my third year with the International Emmy, and it is a fantastic experience to see a lot of rich and good content and be exposed to a lot of innovative content outside India.

”Telenovela juror and Beyond Dreams Entertainment producer & creative director Yash Patnaik says being on the jury is a time for him to get away and chill on the best of international content. “Judging the International Emmys is a wonderful experience. This is my second year with Emmy and we get to see a lot of good content and you get to know what kind of effort they put in. Their style of working is very different from ours. The storytelling, cameras, scale is different.”

“It is always very good and educational to come and watch different programs and this time it is the international platform and watching good shows from all over the world. The telenovelas are brilliant and it’s a good experience and you get to see good work and good content of international quality,” says director and producer Rajan Shahi.

"It was a very different experience judging the telenovela category," says respected actor Meghna Mallick. "The entries were of a very high order, and a couple of them, well they blew me away."

What surprised the jurors was the absence of entries from India in the categories they were judging. Say Brendel: "The fact is Indians would not get not judge entries from India; they would be judged elsewhere. Going by the huge production base India has entries can only go up, I believe that Indian producers should compete in the International Emmys because it is the only way that their shows can be judged and be seen by the best producers, networks. These may then be interested in buying their shows."

Agrees Patnaik says: “Yes of course Indian shows should compete, because there is a lot of original content in India. Our programs are quiet popular in the US and UK and we have Indian audience everywhere. It will be good refreshing change for them to see Indian content which are original and go beyond self-zone.”

Anita Basu chips in: “Production and technical wise we are much ahead and there is a lot of good content here. We are way ahead of the curve, and I think we need to make an effort to represent ourselves in a very big platform like the Emmy awards.”

“There are two reasons why we don’t see Indian entries in Emmys is a lack of information and I think Indian television industry is still evolving. And you never know maybe next year we will see entries from here as well. Indian content is improving every year so we definitely stand a chance to showcase out talent in the international platform,” adds Sharma.

The gala event is slated to take place on 25 November in New York. The next competition will start early this December and the deadline is till February 2014 to submit their shows.

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