Actor-comic Vir Das has become the first Indian to win the International Emmy Award for his Netflix stand-up special ‘Vir Das: Landing’ in the best comedy category and has dedicated the honour to his home country, India.
The 51st International Emmy Awards Gala was held at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City on late Monday night.
This was the second nomination and maiden win in the segment for Das, who shared the trophy with popular British teen sitcom ‘Derry Girls’ season three.
Das said he has immense gratitude holding the International Emmy trophy for best comedy for ‘Vir Das: Landing’, his fourth stand-up special with the streamer.
“This one is for my team and for Netflix without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.
“This journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, and to win this accolade for my fifth special with Netflix feels like a culmination of passion, perseverance, and the undying support of people around the globe who have given so much love to ‘Vir Das: Landing’,” the comedian said in a statement.
Das, also known for films such as ‘Go Goa Gone’ and ‘Delhi Belly’, won the award for ‘Vir Das: Landing’, a show about what it means to be truly global while looking for home. His last stand-up special ‘Vir Das: For India’ was nominated for an International Emmy in the best comedy category in 2021.
This award is not just a recognition of his work but a celebration of the diverse stories and voices from India, he said.
“Stories that make us laugh, reflect, and, most importantly, unite. This one is for India, for Indian comedy and for the community of artists at large,” the comic added.
The other nominees in the best comedy category were ‘El Encargado’ from Argentina and French show ‘Le Flambeau’ season two.
Every year, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences conducts the International Emmys with the aim to honour ‘the world’s best television’.
Renowned producer Ektaa R Kapoor was honoured with the International Emmy Directorate Award for significant contribution to the world of arts and entertainment.
Kapoor, co-founder of production house Balaji Telefilms, said she is delighted to receive the prestigious award. She is the first Indian woman filmmaker to be bestowed with the recognition.
“It brings me immense joy and happiness to be honoured at a global scale, such as this. I’ve always wanted to tell stories because they give me a chance to be heard, seen and represented. I am grateful for the audience’s love that has opened doors for me, allowing me to transition from television to the world of films and OTT,” she said in a statement.
Launched almost 30 years ago, Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms is known for creating long-running popular soap operas such as ‘Hum Paanch’, ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, ‘Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii’, ‘Kaahin Kissii Roz’, ‘Kasautii Zindagii Kay’ and ‘Bade Achhe Lagte Hain’.
Kapoor, daughter of veteran film star Jeetendra and producer Shobha Kapoor, later set up the banner’s film arm Balaji Motion Pictures. She has also produced multiple movies including ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’, ‘Love Sex aur Dhokha’, ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai’, ‘Dirty Picture’, ‘Lootera’ and ‘Udta Punjab’, among others.
“Each story that I told became a bridge to connect with audiences on many levels. The unexpected turns this journey took are a testament to the power of love showered by the people of India and beyond. My heart is filled with gratitude, and a stronger resolve to make a positive impact through my work for audiences,” she added.
Before Kapoor, media baron Subhash Chandra was presented with the Directorate Award in 2011.
Shefali Shah and Jim Sarbh were the other Indian artists to be nominated at the annual international awards ceremony.
“CONGRATULATIONS @virdas. You make us so so so proud,” Shah congratulated Das in her Instagram Stories post.
Sarbh also gave a shout-out to Das as he shared the comedian’s photo on Instagram Stories, captioning it with three fist bump emojis and a heart emoji.
Shah, who was nominated in the best actress category for her role as an upright Delhi Police cop Vartika Chaturvedi in the second season of Netflix series ‘Delhi Crime’, lost the title to Mexican star Karla Souza of ‘La Caida (Dive)’ fame.
“@virdas U WON THU(I)S FOR ALL OF US (sic),” Shah wrote in a separate post.
Connie Nielsen for Danish series ‘Drommeren’ and Billie Piper for British show ‘I Hate Suzie Too’ were also in contention to win the award in the best performance by an actress segment.
Sarbh was nominated in the best performance by an actor category for his portrayal of Indian nuclear physicist Homi Bhabha in acclaimed SonyLIV series ‘Rocket Boys’, but also couldn’t convert it into a win. He was bested by ‘Sherlock’ alum Martin Freeman, who earned the award for ‘The Responder’, a British police drama.
“No luck folks,” Sarbh later wrote on Instagram Stories in a reference to losing out to Freeman.
In a separate post, the actor shared a heartfelt post for ‘Rocket Boys’ director Abhay Pannu. “Next one bhai @pannubhay,” he wrote.
Besides Sarbh and Freeman, Gustavo Bassani of ‘Iosi, El Espia Arrepentido’ (Argentina) and Jonas Karlsson from Swedish series ‘Nattryttarna’ were the other two nominees in the category.
The first season of ‘Delhi Crime’ had won the International Emmy for the best drama series in 2020, the first award for India at the awards.
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