Les Revenants — an American remake of which is in development at A&E — was named best drama series of 2013 at the International Emmy Awards tonight, while Sean Bean won the best actor trophy for his role as a lit teacher with a cross-dressing alter ego in the British anthology Accused. Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro won best actress for her role in The Sweet Mother. The UK’s Moone Boy, about an Irish boy and his imaginary friend, took best comedy. Former The Daily Show correspondent (and newly named HBO show host) John Oliver hosted this year’s International Emmy ceremony, whose Founders Award went to J.J. Abrams, while the Directorate Award was presented to RTL Group Co-CEO Anke Schäferkordt.
Les Revenants, the French TV series based on an obscure 2004 movie that sold only 32,000 tickets in France, was a hit on Canal Plus and sold around the world — including the UK, where it aired subtitled as The Returned this year to great interest, and on Sundance Channel. The drama is about a small town turned upside down when several local people who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, having not aged and unaware of their own fatality. As they attempt to resume their lives, strange phenomena and gruesome murders begin to occur. A second season is planned for Canal Plus.
Bean snared the Emmy for best performance by an actor for his work on Accused, for which he also had received a BAFTA nom. Bean, best known in the U.S. for The Lord Of The Rings and HBO’s Game Of Thrones, won the Emmy for his role in an episode of the crime anthology series that follows a different character as they await their verdict in court. Bean portrayed an English literature teacher with a cross-dressing alter ego who becomes involved with a married man. The British series, created by Jimmy McGovern, has run on BBC One for two seasons and won an International Emmy as Best Drama in 2011 when Christopher Eccleston also scooped the Best Actor trophy.
The documentary award went to the Oscar-nominated feature 5 Broken Cameras, whose Palestinian co-director Emad Burnet was famously detained at LAX in February — en route from Turkey to Los Angeles — to attend the Oscars and texted Michael Moore, a governor on the Motion Picture Academy’s documentary branch, for help.
In all, two Special Awards and 10 Emmy statues were presented by the International Academy during the evening. Winners span six countries: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, South Korea and the UK. Here’s the full list of winners:
2013 INTERNATIONAL EMMY® AWARD WINNERS
Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender
EMP / Mercury Songs for Eagle Rock Entertainment
Freddie Mercury was one of the most charismatic, complex, and fascinating characters in British rock music. The story of Queen is much told, but this documentary focuses on Freddie and the solo projects he worked on outside of the band. Using extensive archive footage of interviews with Freddie as well as concerts, video shoots, and personal material, a portrait of Freddie Mercury emerges which is very different from his flamboyant stage persona.
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation(MBC) / CEN MEDIA
Violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill conducts an orchestra of 24 children from multicultural families. Raised in a multicultural family himself, Richard understands the discrimination these children face, and he attempts to unite and heal them through music.
Best Performance by an Actor
Simon is a shy, lonely, English literature teacher with a secret. He has a transvestite alter-ego, Tracie. Tracie goes out to clubs at night. She is flamboyant, funny, and loud, and in search of love.
Best Performance by an Actress
In Sweet Mother
TV Globo / Casa de Cinema do Porto Alegre
Dona Picucha is 85 and wishes to live independently in spite of her age and the concern of her children. She feels ready to try new experiences, like dancing.
Baby Cow Productions Ltd / Hot Cod Productions / Grand Pictures / Sprout Pictures
Set in a small Irish town in 1989, ‘Moone Boy’ follows the adventures of the youngest member of the Moone family, 11-year-old Martin. In order to survive life with his chaotic family Martin relies on his friend, Sean Murphy for company. Sean is no ordinary pal, he’s imaginary: a grown man with a beard, whose middle name, Caution, gives him something of an edge. Together, Martin and Sean negotiate various obstacles, from his sisters’ pranks to the pressures of being an altar boy.
5 Broken Cameras
Alegria Productions / Burnat Films Palestine / Guy DVD Films / France Télévisions
5 Broken Cameras is a personal, firsthand account of life and nonviolent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village surrounded by Israeli settlements. The film was shot by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, Gibreel. The film is structured in chapters around the destruction of each one of Burnat’s cameras, and follows the Burnat family’s evolution over five years of village upheaval.
Les Revenants (The Returned)
Haut et Court TV / Canal+
A small mountain community is rocked to its core when several local people who are presumed dead suddenly reappear at their homes. Despite having passed away some years earlier, these ghostly characters appear in human form, they have not aged, and they are completely unaware of their own fatality. Determined to reclaim their lives and start over, they slowly come to realize that they are not the only ones to have been brought back from the dead.
Go Back To Where You Came From – Series 2
SBS / Cordell Jigsaw Productions
With the asylum-seeker issue still dominating national debate in Australia, the series ‘Go Back To Where You Came From’ returns for the next stage of its social experiment: to challenge the strongly held beliefs of six Australians on a journey to see the world through the eyes of refugees. This time, the stakes have been raised. The participants are going to the most desperate and dangerous corners of the world, and they are all high-profile Australians who represent different – often opposing – sides of the asylum-seeker debate.
Side by Side
Laura and Isabel are two women from different social classes. One’s parents are former aristocrats, while the other’s are former slaves. The two families developed a solid friendship. Laura and Isabel fall in love with two young idealists, Edgar and Zé Maria. Amid the early Republic comes the emergence of samba, the arrival of soccer in Brazil, the end of the tenements, and the beginning of the slums (favelas) in Rio.
A Day for a Miracle (Das Wunder von Kärnten)
Rowboat Film and TV Production GmbH / ZDF / Graf Filmproduction GmbH / ORF
In 1998, a young cardiovascular surgeon and ultra marathon runner from Vienna named Markus Höchstmann started his first job in rural Austria. Over two long days that same year he saved a life no one thought could be saved. With his superiors away, a drowned four-year-old girl was brought into the emergency room. Cold and lifeless after having spent 30 minutes under water, she was considered clinically dead. Even though a similar resuscitation had never been accomplished, Markus risked everything to save the girl’s life and made medical history.