Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing To Die' documentary scoops International Emmy

 

Author Terry Pratchett's investigation into assisted suicide and a satirical look at technology have won International Emmy awards for Britain.

Pratchett's Choosing To Die, in the documentary category of the awards, handed out in New York, followed the author, who after his Alzheimer's diagnosis, travelled to Swiss clinic Dignitas for a first-hand look at assisted suicide methods.

Channel 4's Black Mirror, created by Charlie Brooker, a suspenseful and satirical look at the unease created by modern technology, won an Emmy in the TV movie/mini-series category.

Unlike previous years when Britain dominated the awards, honouring excellence in television production outside the US, the winners in the nine categories this year spanned six countries - Argentina; Brazil; Britain; Australia; France; and Germany.

Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy paid tribute at the awards Monday night to TV veterans Norman Lear and Alan Alda, whose cutting-edge, socially-conscious shows in the 1970s changed the face of television.

Murphy closed the awards ceremony by delivering a moving tribute to Lear, now 90, and M*A*S*H star Alda as he presented them with the 40th Anniversary Special Founders Award.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences marked the milestone anniversary by presenting special awards honouring a producer and performer who had groundbreaking shows on TV in 1972 when the International Emmys were first presented.

The night's big winner was Argentina's Television x La Inclusion, a drama produced by On TV Contenidos dealing with issues of social exclusion and inclusion. It became the first series in the history of the International Emmys to sweep both acting categories.

Dario Grandinetti, who starred in Pedro Almodovar's film Talk To Her, won the best actor award for his portrayal of a divorced, xenophobic taxi driver determined to drive out his Peruvian neighbours.

Cristina Banegas, a Argentine theatre, film and TV actress, was honoured as best actress for her role as the mother of a girl with Down's syndrome who fights her health insurance company when it will not authorise life-saving heart surgery for her daughter.

Both of Brazil's wins went to TV Globo productions. The Invisible Woman, about a publicist married to his boss whose relationship is threatened by the appearance in his life of his imaginary ideal woman, was chosen the best comedy. The Illusionist, the story of a scam artist who becomes an illusionist after meeting a magician in jail, won in the telenovela category.

Murphy himself was honoured midway through the awards ceremony hosted by Regis Philbin at the Hilton New York Hotel. Jessica Lange, the star of Murphy's contemporary gothic TV series American Horror Story, presented him with the honorary 2012 International Emmy Founders Award.

The writer, director and producer whose credits also include Nip/Tuck and Popular, was recognised for the impact his shows have had in recognising diversity and encouraging people to become more inclusive.

With Glee, Murphy also essentially created a novel TV format mixing music with drama/comedy.

The other Emmy winners included France's police drama Braquo, about a group of Parisian cops who circumvent the law, using violence and intimidation, for best drama series; Germany's Songs Of War, in which Sesame Street composer Christopher Cerf explores the relationship between music and violence after learning his songs had been used to torture prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib for arts programming; and The Amazing Race Australia for non-scripted entertainment.

Six International Emmys for children's programming will be presented at a new awards ceremony on February 8 in New York.

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