Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brits It Again at Intl. Emmy Awards; Chilean Debut

Samanta Artal Susskand and Paula Andrea Gomze Vera, second and third from left, pose with an actor and characters from their international Emmy-winning show, “Con Qué Sueñas?” (What is your Dream?"). Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

WHAT do Lady Gaga and Dan Rather have in common?

The duo appeared – separately – at last night’s 39th International Emmy Awards and were two of the highest lights. The program, which honors outstanding work in international television, was livestreamed on the Internet from the Mercury Ballroom at the New York Hilton.

LG, who was not listed on the press tip sheet for obvious reasons, presented the Founders Award to Nigel Lythgoe. Himself is most famously known as a judge on the TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” though he also is co-creator and executive producer of that program. He performs the latter job, too, for another little competition show called “American Idol.”

Lady Gaga and Nigel Lythgoe make their way to meet the press after the singer-songwriter presented the producer with the Founders Award at the 39th International Emmy Awards. Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images.

DR, world famous for succeeding Walter Cronkite as the anchor of the “CBS Evening News," presented the best Documentary award to John Kastner and Silva Basmajian for “Life with Murder.” The film chronicles Canadian parents dealing with the aftermath of their daughter’s murder. She was murdered by her brother. Of course, the parents of two are bereft: one kid dead, the other imprisoned.

Many attendees Your Truly queried gave the ceremony a rating just above lukewarm. Two major reasons. One, Canadian-born host Jason Priestley was a bit awkward, not handling the scripted material as well as the acerbic Brit (is that a redundant phrase?) Ricky Gervais, for instance.

Second, many of the major awards and most of the overall awards went to the United Kingdom, a common outcome for the International Emmy Awards that is becoming increasingly distressing, particularly for the likes of Brazil and South Korea, which believe they have arrived. A digression to disclose that a Chilean show won the nation’s first international Emmy.

Executive producer Samanta Artal Susskind and director Paula Andrea Gomez Vera accepted an award for “Con Qué Sueñas?” (What is your Dream?"), which asks children such existential questions as “What makes you happy/sad?” The show won in the Children & Young People category.

John Kastner, Silva Basmajian and Dan Rather. The newsman presented the duo with the best documentary award for “Life With Murder at the 39th International Emmy Awards. Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images.

Meanwhile, the Brits entered programs in seven categories and won five international Emmys. Brazil (0-6) and South Korea (0-2) went home empty-handed. True to form, some British winners in major categories did not show up to receive their statuettes – including Best Actress Julie Walters (MO) and Best Actor Christopher Eccleston (“Accused,” which also won as best Drama Series) – putting a slight damper on the festivities.

Alas, as the great, late Mr. Cronkite would say, “… and that’s the way it is.”

Visit http://http://www.iemmys.tv/ to see a full list of winners of the 39th International Emmy Awards.

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