Britain fares well at Intl Emmies

MUMBAI: The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Iatas) has announced the winners of the 34th International Emmy Awards at a star-studded Gala event held at the New York Hilton, hosted by comedian and talk-show host Graham Norton.

A cast of international stars including Katie Couric, Susan Sarandon, Christiane Amanpour, Rosie Perez, Roger Bart, Julianne Nicholson and Lorenzo Lamas presented the International Emmy statue to the winners.

Shows from Britain wom six out of nine programming prizes. The Best Performance by an Actress was won by Maryam Hassouni from the Netherlands for her performance as Laila in Offers and the Best Performance by an Actor was won by British thespian Ray Winstone for his performance in the title role of Vincent.

Winstone stars as private investigator, Vincent, who often forgets that he is running a business and not a crusade. His partner, Beth, is perpetually looking out for him and keeps his headstrong tendencies in check. In the series premiere, Vincent works on a case of suspected adultery, where he and his team follow the client's wife to a club and straight into the arms of another man. Vincent realizes that this investigation will end brutally.

In addition to the Best Actor category, British programmes won in the Children and Young People, Comedy, Documentary, Drama Series and Non-Scripted Entertainment categories.

Iatas president and CEO Bruce Paisner says, "We congratulate this year's winners for their outstanding achievement. The Academy is proud to be the international television community's platform for recognizing excellence in television programming worldwide".

Channel 4's Sugar Rush was awarded the best show in the Children and Young People category. Being an un-cool, 15-year-old lesbian who's infatuated with the most popular girl in school is tough. Based on the novel by Julie Burchill, Sugar Rush explores the world of Kim and her lust for sassy Maria Sweet, a.k.a. Sugar. Then there's Kim's family: a freak brother, an obsessive dad and a mum who thinks she's 15. Each episode is a journey to Kim's world as she takes us into the mind of a screwed-up adolescent.

The best documentary award went to Hiroshima which is a BBC/TFI/ZDF/Discovery Channel co-production in association with the Tokyo Broadcasting System and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Hiroshima is about the first use of an atomic bomb. This film mixes drama, computer graphics and special effects with testimonies from survivors and witnesses.

Set in the three weeks from the first successful bomb test, it explores both the Allied and Japanese perspectives and follows the scientists who built the weapon. It also examines the politicians who would decide to use it and follows the Japanese people as the bomb explodes.

The award for drama show went to the BBC's Life On Mars. Detective Sam Tyler awakens realizing that he's gone back to…1973. But he regroups and he and his new team – a technologically backward, risibly corrupt CID department – have crimes to solve. Crimes, which are some of the toughest investigations Sam's encountered, primarily because they appear to be the key to the mystery of his existence in another era. Life on Mars is about one man's frantic journey to get back home.

The award for TV movie/mini-series went to France's Nuit Noire. While de Gaulle was preparing to negotiate the end of the Algerian war, the chief of the Paris police, Maurice Papon, ordered the arrest of more than 11,000 Algerians who were demonstrating peacefully against the abuse of the police force and the curfew they were subjected to. The final death toll went up to several hundred protesters. Nuit Noire, October 17, 1961 reveals the truth of the savagery carried out by the highest levels of French authority.

The International Emmy Founders Award was presented to Steven Spielberg, for his television career. The International EmmyDirectorate Award was presented to Central European Media Enterprises (CME) and its founder and chairman, Ronald S. Lauder for pioneering the development of independent television broadcasting in Central and Eastern Europe.

Spielberg's career began in episodic television. His first directing job was an episode of Night Gallery that starred Joan Crawford. He went on to direct a second episode of Night Gallery as well as episodes of such series as Marcus Welby, M.D., The Name of the Game and Columbo. His made-for-television Duel became a breakthrough for him when it was released theatrically in the international market. That led to his first feature films which took off after Jaws.

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