France Leads International Emmy Awards as Winners Honor ‘Victims of Despair and Hate’

Bassem Youssef
Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX Shutterstock

The Paris terror attacks were front and center at the International Emmy Awards ceremony Monday in New York, where France led the field with three wins.

The long-running Canal Plus legal drama “Spiral” took the trophy for best drama series. Producers dedicated the win to “victims of despair and hate” from the stage at the Hilton New York.

France also won for arts programming for docu “The Man Who Saved the Louvre” and in the movie/miniseries field for Canal Plus’ “White Soldier,” which revolves around soldiers in colonial Vietnam in 1945.

“Louvre” documents the story of the famed museum’s director, Jacques Jaujard, who managed to save masterpieces from falling into the clutches of the Nazis during World War II.

“This movie is about art but it’s almost all about resistance,” said Pierre Pochart, “Louvre” co-director. “The more we laugh the more they lose. You know who I mean.”

Maarten Heijmans of the Netherlands’ “Ramses” won for best actor. He noted that he was in a motorcycle accident two months ago which gave him a new perspective on life. “I thought life isn’t about prestige or awards but boy was I wrong,” he joked.

Norway’s Anneke von der Lippe prevailed for best actress for the NRK crime drama “Eyewitness.”

Nat Geo Mundo’s “Arrepentidos: El Infierno de Montoya” won for non-English U.S. primetime program.

South Africa’s “Miners Shot Down,” about the police shootings of more than 30 miners during the 2012 strike, took documentary honors.

The U.K.’s “50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy” won for non-scripted program, topping South Africa’s rendition of “MasterChef,” among other shows. The Sky series features the thrill-seeking adventures of a man and his 70-year-old Irish mother.

Brazil won the competitive telenovela category for Globo TV’s “Empire.” Brazil and Globo TV also prevailed for comedy series for “Sweet Mother.”

Bassem Youssef, a TV personality known as Egypt’s answer to Jon Stewart, is hosting this year’s ceremony. He opened the awards ceremony with observations both sober and sarcastic about the global scene.

Regarding the Paris terror attacks, Youssef observed that “the world is still in a state of trauma…It’s brutal, it’s horrible and it’s unfair.” Of course, it didn’t take long for the subject of Donald Trump to come up. Youssef noted of the GOP candidate “when you’re too crazy for Fox News you’ve got a bigger problem.”

Michael Douglas presented HBO chairman-CEO Richard Plepler with the International Academy of Television Arts & Science’s Directorate Award. “The secret sauce of our company is our people,” Plepler said. “We have the best team in the business.”

“Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes was feted with the Founders Award, presented by “Downton” star Elizabeth McGovern and exec producer Gareth Neame. Fellowes noted the role that “luck and happenstance” has played in his career as a writer-producer. “I want to dedicate this award to those men and women who have never been able to show what they can do,” he said.

Here is a complete list of winners:

Arts Programming

Illustre & Inconnu:
Comment Jacques Jaujard a Sauvé le Louvre
(The Man Who Saved the Louvre)
Ladybirds Films
France

Best Performance by an Actor

Maarten Heijmans
in Ramses
De Familie Film & TV / Avro
Netherlands

Best Performance by an Actress

Anneke von der Lippe
in Øyevitne (Eyewitness)
NRK / SVT / DR / YLE Fem / Nordvision Fund
Norway

Comedy

Doce de Mãe (Sweet Mother)
Globo / Casa de Cinema de Porto Alegre
Brazil

Documentary

Miners Shot Down
Uhuru Productions
South Africa

Drama Series

Engrenages Saison 5 (Spiral Season 5)
Canal + Creation Originale / Son et Lumière / BBC Four
France

Non-English U.S. Primetime Program

Arrepentidos – El Infierno de Montoya
Fox International Channels Latin America / National Geographic Channel / Fox Telecolombia
United States of America

Non-Scripted Entertainment

50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy
Burning Bright Productions / Brown Bread Productions / Sky 1
United Kingdom

Telenovela

Império (Empire)
Globo
Brazil

TV Movie/Mini-Series

Soldat Blanc (White Soldier)
Canal+ Creation Originale / Breakout Films
France

(Pictured: Bassem Youssef)

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