Judging round for Intl Emmies Asia/Africa region takes place tomorrow in Mumbai
(10 August 2005 2:00 pm)

MUMBAI: The judging for the semi final round of one of the most prestigious awards in television, the 33rd edition of the International Emmy Awards, takes place tomorrow for the first time in Mumbai.

The judging event, which is being organised by Indiantelevision.com, is for Asia and Africa and is for two categories - comedy and non scripted entertainment.

While five entries have been sent in for the comedy category 21 entries are competing in the other category. Three entries are from India.

For the uninitiated the International Emmy Awards honour shows made outside the US. The broadcast should have initially happened outside the US. Also the shows cannot be produced by an American company.

Once the semi final judging has been completed in Mumbai, three entries will be chosen for the grand finale which will take place in New York in November.

For the judging event tomorrow Indiantelevision.com has roped in 22 experts in the television industry. They are Sahara India CEO Shantonu Aditya, Miditech promoter Nikhil Alva, The Great Indian Comedy Show creative director Shailesh Dave, comedy scriptwriter Ashwini Dheer, Zee Telefilms director Puneet Goenka, TV actor and host Jaaved Jaaferi, TV scriptwriter Aatish Kapadia, Sony creative and business head Tarun Katial, Nimbus MD and CEO Aakash Khurana, senior television professional Raveena Raj Kohliii, Times Global CEO Sunil Lulla, Hats Off Productions' Jamndas Majithia, veteran film and TV director Rajiv Mehra, producer Asit Modi, MTV India VP and GM, Cyrus Oshidhar, B.A.G. Films chairperson and MD Anuradha Prasad, television writer and director Vipul D. Shah, Contiloe Films' Abhimanyu Singh, actress Simone Singh, TV writer RD Tailang, actress Saakshi Tanwar and Zee TV programming head Ashwini Yardi.

Speaking on the occasion International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Iatas) judging manager Sandy Clark said, "India has a very developed film and television industry. The Academy thought that it would be appropriate if the country's TV professionals get a chance to choose the best international TV programmes. 70 countries are members of Iatas.

"There are 11 programme categories. This year we have added categories for actor and actress. Another new category is Best International Format.

"The nominations will be announced at Mipcom on 17 October 2005. In each category.

There is a different country. There are two criteria for evaluation - concept and the quality of execution. The jury members should have at least five years experience in the industry and should be experts in the particular category they are judging. We will have an international Emmy Festival prior to the Awards shows so that judges can view the nominees. Oprah Winfrey will receive the Founders Award."

Indiantelevision.com founder and CEO Anil Wanvari, who is also on the board of Iatas, says, "We have expertise in conducting judging rounds. We have been conducting the Indian Telly Awards for the past five years to recognise the contributions being made by the industry. I have also learn a lot from the Emmy Awards. For instance following their example we came out with a booklet on the Indian Telly Awards. This gives readers information on the show, the eligibility criteria. What is unique about the judging process for the Iatas is that there is no communication allowed among the jury members.

"This is something that I am hoping to institute for the Indian Telly Awards as well. Abroad, production houses use the fact that they have won an International Emmy to boost sales of their home videos as well as form co-production deals. This is something that Indian production houses could seek to leverage. Two years ago Simone Singh was a presenter at the iEmmys awards - an initiative we had undertaken - and the response to her was excellent."

Oshidhar said," It is wonderful that Indians are being offered an international platform to show off their content. Content is evolving and I must congratulate the industry for having come so far in just 13 years. While we are still learning the content in the music and news categories is first rate. Also the fact that we are now seeing a few world class documentaries coming out of India shows that we are rapidly learning the tricks of the trade. The industry has certainly become more professional and is more expertise driven. The storyboards have become more slick. However I feel that content creators should more closely within the country in order to expand the themes they work on."

Jaafrey said, "People have asked me how Indian comedy shows compare to what the US and other countries offer. I would say that it is important to remember that the sensibilities are very different. In India it is more about slapstick and action driven humour as compared to using nuances of dialogue. It is an honour to be a part of the international community."

Khurana expressed confidence that with the judging coming to India awareness among
production houses would grow as far as sending quality shows is concerned.

"While there is certainly curiosity among the television industry about the Emmy Awards this event will help people understand that they too can participate. The industry is evolving as it has to. After all budgets have relatively not gone up. While some themes are universal it is important to try and do things differently. I expect to have a lot of fun tomorrow. It should be a learning experience," he said.

Mehra said, "I am close to comedy. It will be fascinating to see the work being done in other countries."



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