Mumbai: Netflix’s India Original series Delhi Crime, helmed by Indian-Canadian director Richie Mehta, has bagged the best drama series honour at the 48th International Emmy Awards.
Told from the perspective of the Delhi Police team investigating the crime that made global headlines, the series deconstructs the case of the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern who was abducted and gang-raped in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, before she was abandoned on a Delhi road.
Her injuries were so grievous that she died in a Singapore hospital a fortnight later.
Mehta, in his acceptance speech during the virtual ceremony on Monday, dedicated the honour to all the women who not just endure violence that men inflict on them, “but are also tasked to solve the problem.”
In a statement later, the director said the award is the collective victory of the cast and crew who worked tirelessly to make the show a reality.
“I never anticipated getting here – it’s the culmination of years of work by hundreds of people, sometimes in total isolation and defiance.
“‘Delhi Crime’ is a complete labour of love, born out of sadness, anger, frustration, and ultimately, compassion. The entire team from start to finish should take a bow for giving their all to this vision,” Mehta said.
The series featured actor Shefali Shah as Vartika Chaturvedi, whose character on Delhi Crime was based on former Delhi Police DCP Chaya Sharma who cracked the case of the brutal gang-rape within 72 hours.
Shah, who was watching the ceremony live, celebrated the show’s win in a post on Instagram.
“And just like that, we made history. So so so proud of DC,” she posted alongside the show’s poster.
Delhi Crime, released in 2019, received massive acclaim for its sensitive retelling of a horrific crime that shook the entire nation.
Performances by its ensemble cast, including Shah, Rasika Dugal, Adil Hussain and Rajesh Tailang were particularly appreciated by the critics.
Dugal, who played idealistic police officer Neeti Singh in the series, said she is particularly happy for Mehta.
“He’s put in so many years of hard work and he had immersed himself in the project in such a special way. I have such deep respect and admiration for him. I’m so happy for him and so grateful that his work has been acknowledged,” she told PTI.
Hussain and Tailang took to Twitter and congratulated the entire team for the win.
“Delhi Crime wins the Emmy International Awards for Best Drama. Congratulations @RichieMehta unmatchable @ShefaliShah dearest @rajeshtailang and whole team Big Big Congratulations,” Hussain tweeted.
Tailang said: OMG …. #delhicrime grabs @iemmys. Congratulations to the whole team. @RichieMehta @KaplanAaron @kohlipooja @apoorva_bakshi @ShefaliShah_ @_AdilHussain @RasikaDugal @CastingChhabra.”
Monika Shergill, VP, Content, Netflix India, congratulated the show’s entire team for bringing home India’s first International Emmy trophy.
“Led by the incredible Richie Mehta, the amazing cast and crew told an important story with sensitivity and responsibility. Winning Best Drama Series is a testament to the brilliance of India’s outstanding creative community. We hope this is the first win of many for Indian stories that are watched and appreciated by the world,” Shergill said.
Two other Emmy nominations from India included Amazon Prime Video’s Four More Shots and Arjun Mathur for his role in drama Made in Heaven in the best comedy and actor categories respectively. Both couldn’t register wins.
While Four More Shots, created by Rangita Pritish Nandy, lost to Brazil’s Ninguem ta Olhando (Nobody’s Looking), Mathur lost to 13-year-old Billy Barratt for his role in UK’s Responsible Child.
Responsible Child also bagged the Best TV Movie/Mini-Series award. Directed by Nick Holt, the movie follows the story of a 12-year-old boy and his experience of the UK legal system that puts him on trial for murder.
Glenda Jackson, 84, bagged the best actress award for her role in Elizabeth is Missing.
For Sama won the best documentary award.
Narrated and directed by Waad Al-Kateab along with Edward Watts, For Sama focuses on Al-Kateab’s journey as a journalist and rebel in the Syrian uprising.
The Non-English Language US Primetime Program category saw a tie, with 20th Annual Latin Grammy Awards and La Reina del Sur season two bagging the honour.
The Short Form Series award was bagged by #martyisdead from the Czech Republic while Old People’s Home for 4-Year-Olds from Australia took home the award in Non-Scripted Entertainment category.
Brazil’s Orphans of a Nation won the top honour in the Telenovela category.
Last year, Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer McMafia won the best drama series award at the International Emmy Awards.
Actor Richard Kind hosted the ceremony from New York.
The International Emmy Award are organised by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (IATAS) in recognition to the best television programs initially produced and aired outside the United States.
The awards are presented annually in November every year.