What the Oscars are to the film industry and Grammys to the music industry, the Emmys are for the television industry. Hosted by magician Penn Jillette and Rhys Darby, the 51st International Emmy Awards saw a plethora of deserving stars get acknowledged for their exemplary work and contribution to the landscape of television content (outside of the United States). The Awards Gala was held at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City late Monday night.
One of the most loved Indian comedians, Vir Das won the International Emmy for Comedy for his Netflix special show Vir Das: Landing. This is his second Emmy nomination and first win, making him the first Indian comedian to accomplish this honour. Along with Vir, Ektaa R Kapoor also bagged the International Emmy Directorate Award. She is the First Indian Woman Filmmaker to receive this recognition, that too, on the biggest global platform for television.
The Comedian Of The Hour
The official X handle for the International Emmy Awards announced Vir’s win with a tweet, stating, “We have a tie! The International Emmy for Comedy goes to Vir Das: Landing produced by Weirdass Comedy/ Rotten Science/ Netflix.” The Indian comedian shared the award with the UK show Derry Girls (season 3), marking a significant milestone in his illustrious career. Vir’s victory underscores his talent in the English comedy genre.
The comedian also shared a monologue from his Netflix special and captioned the post with a heartfelt message that said, “The universe is a full circle. So just wanted to say thanks 🙏 and that if anyone out there is ever in the dark, stay till sunlight, and know that love will find you, and the universe will carry you.” He was previously nominated in the same category in 2021 for the stand-up special named For India.
In the video, Vir is seen saying “On the night I was called a terrorist, I was nominated for an Emmy Award for ‘Vir Das: For India'” He was contemplating suicide because of the pressure that followed. However, he overcame that and the rest is history. The heartfelt confession about the universe coming full circle after two years will leave many Vir Das fans teary-eyed.
Vir came out with flying colours even after facing tough competition from Argentina’s El Encargado and France’s Le Flambeau Season 2. Elated by the triumph, Vir expressed his gratitude on social media while dedicating his award to India and Indian comedy. “For India. For Indian comedy. Every breath, every word. Thank you to the @iemmys for this incredible honour,” he wrote.
Netflix x Vir
The award is a boost for Netflix, which is making a push for partnerships with Indian creators. The streaming service was represented at the awards ceremony in New York City by Monika Shergill, Vice President Content, Netflix India. In a statement shared by Netflix, Vir Das said, “This moment is truly surreal – an incredible honor that feels like a dream. Winning an Emmy for ‘Vir Das: Landing’ in the ‘Comedy Category’ is not just a milestone for me but for Indian comedy as a whole.
It’s heartening to see ‘Vir Das: Landing’ resonate globally, thanks to Netflix. He further mentioned Aakash Sharma and Reg Tigerman, who made this win special for him. “My journey from crafting local stories to receiving a global accolade has been both challenging and rewarding, and Netflix has been instrumental in that growth. I’m excited about the continued exploration of diverse narratives, from Noida to the International Emmys – India gets you there,” he said.
In this Netflix special, Vir Das talked about the intersection of Indian and American cultures through the lens of politics. As a man born in India who was raised in America, for Vir, neither culture existed in a vacuum. They were in constant interplay with each other.
Indian Television Makes An Impact
Co-founder of Balaji Telefilms, Ektaa Kapoor‘s win proves that her contributions have impacted the industry. Her win is a recognition of her unconventional and ground-breaking work, which consistently delivers content that resonates with a diverse audience since decades. Kapoor received this prestigious accolade for her “trailblazing career and significant impact on the Indian television landscape.”
Before Kapoor, media baron Subhash Chandra was presented with the Directorate Award in 2011. Reacting to her victory, Ektaa wrote on Instagram, “India I’m bringing home YOUR Emmy,” as she posted a video with the trophy.
Reflecting on this historic achievement, the producer shared her gratitude and stated, “I’m delighted to receive the prestigious Emmys Directorate Award! 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.” Ektaa is extremely grateful to her audience and their love.
They opened the doors for her to transition from television to the world of films and OTT with their love. She added, “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.”
Renowned Indian actress Shefali Shah was nominated for her role as a high-ranking police official in the Netflix show Delhi Crime. She ultimately lost to Mexican actress Karla Souza, who got the award for her show Dive. Jim Sarbh, who had been nominated for the SonyLIV show Rocket Boys, lost the award to Martin Freeman for The Responder. Nonetheless, we are super proud of their performances and craft.
This year’s Emmy nominations featured a diverse group of 56 candidates from 20 countries across 14 categories, highlighting the global reach and impact of the International Emmy Awards. Vir Das and Ektaa Kapoor’s triumph is not just a personal victory but also a momentous and proud moment for India. They have ensured that our country is represented for the outstanding talent it possesses in front of a global audience.