NZ sports doco misses out at Emmys

David Rumney (as Murray Halberg), Mark Clare (Arthur Lydiard) and Jed Gard'ner (Peter Snell) in The Golden Hour.
David Rumney (as Murray Halberg), Mark Clare (Arthur Lydiard) and Jed Gard'ner (Peter Snell) in The Golden Hour.

New Zealand documentary The Golden Hour - about how running champions Peter Snell and Murray Halberg both won their events at the Rome Olympics - has missed out on winning an International Emmy Award.

The programme, directed by Justin Pemberton, was one of four nominees in the best documentary category at the awards which was won by 5 Broken Cameras, the acclaimed personal account of a Palestinian farmer in a West Bank village surrounded by Israeli settlements. It was earlier this year also nominated for an Oscar after getting a cinematic release in the United States.

The other contenders in the category were My Mother, Lady Bondong (South Korea) and 5 de Mayo, Un Dia de Gloria (Mexico).

Meanwhile. Britain's Sean Bean and Brazil's Fernanda Montenegro took the top acting honoursat the 41st International Emmyss in which the statues were spread among TV productions from six countries.

The highlight of the awards ceremony came when Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the latest Star Trek films, presented the honorary International Emmy Founders Award to writer-director-producer J.J. Abrams, who took a break from pre-production work on the new Star Wars film.

Abrams, who helped create such trend-setting TV series as Felicity, Alias, and Lost, paid tribute to his actors and production crews as well as his family. He credited his father, TV executive Gerald W. Abrams with teaching him "about leadership, tenacity and getting things done at all costs" and his wife, Katie McGrath," for "her support and brutal honesty" and encouraging him early on to write "about things that I care about," which led him to create his first television script for "Felicity."

Britain garnered three International Emmys at the ceremony at the Hilton New York hosted by British comedian John Oliver, formerly of The Daily Show.

Brazil and France had two apiece, while Australia, South Korea and Germany each got one award. The 36 nominees represented 19 countries, including first-timers Angola and Uruguay.

Bean, best known for his roles in The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, won the best actor award for his role in an episode of the crime anthology series Accused.

Bean portrayed a shy English literature teacher with a secret alter-ego of a flamboyant transvestite who gets involved in an affair with a married man that leads to a brutal crime of passion. The veteran actor said he was especialy "delighted" because "I've never actually won anything before."

Earlier on the red carpet, Bean said he took on the against-type role because it's something he's "always kind of aspired to playing diversity and different characters."

"I guess that's what excites us as actors and this was a wonderful opportunity for me to display another side of my character," he said.

Britain's Moone Boy, about a young Irish boy who survives his chaotic family life with the help of an imaginary grown-up pal, won in the comedy category. The British documentary Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender, which focuses on the late rock singer's solo projects outside of Queen, tied for the arts programming award with South Korea's Hello?! Orchestra," in which violist Richard Yongjae O'Neill conducts an orchestra of children like himself from multicultural families.

Montenegro, who received an Oscar nomination for the 1998 film Central Station," was chosen best actress for her role in Doce de Mae (Sweet Mother) in which she plays an 85-year-old woman who wishes to live independently and take on new experiences, like dancing. She called it "a special moment in my professional life" and shared the honor with her director and cast mates "the wonderful, marvelous actors from Brazil."

The telenovela award went to Brazil's Lado a Lado (Side By Side), which tells the story of two women one a descendant of former slaves and the other from an aristocratic family who become friends in Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Emmy for best drama series went to the French zombie thriller Les Revenants (The Returned), about a small alpine village that is rocked when several people presumed dead suddenly reappear at their homes as ghostly characters in human form.

The award for non-scripted entertainment went to Australia's Go Back To Where You Came From - Series 2," in which six high-profile Australians of differing political views see the world through the eyes of refugees visiting conflict zones, a refugee camp and an Australian detention center for asylum-seekers.

Executive Producer Michael Cordell thanked "all the refugees and asylum-seekers whose stories were told" and called it "a real honor to bring their stories to a really wide audience."

Germany's Das Wunder von Karnten (A Day for a Miracle), a true story about a young cardiovascular surgeon who made medical history by saving the life of a 4-year-old Austrian girl considered clinically dead after spending 30 minutes under water, took the award in the TV movie/mini-series category.


The awards, presented by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, honor excellence in television programming outside the U.S.

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