German director wins Emmy for “Unorthodox”.


For the first time a German director wins an Emmy for best director. With the series “Unorthodox” Maria Schrader prevailed against the competition. Three other Emmy winners are:  “Succession”, “Schitt’s Creek” and “Watchmen”.

Director Maria Schrader won an Emmy with the Netflix series “Unorthodox”. This is the first time that a German has won the prize for best director of a mini-series at the most important US television award. In it, Schrader tells the story of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman who flees her husband from New York to Berlin. The 54-year-old Schrader heard about her Emmy in a live broadcast, surrounded by members of the team. “I am speechless,” she said.

The four episodes in Yiddish, English and German are about Esther (“Esty”), a Jewish woman from the Satmar religious community in Brooklyn. It is a world with strict rules of faith: For example, women must shave their hair and wear wigs. During their period they are not allowed to be touched by their husbands. Esty is initially looking forward to marriage, but many things are different than expected.

The scenes set in New York are loosely based on the book “Unorthodox” by Deborah Feldman, published in 2012. In contrast, the plot in Berlin is fictional. The leading role is played by Israeli actress Shira Haas, the script is by Anna Winger (“Deutschland 83”) and Alexa Karolinski (“Oma & Bella”). Schrader, who comes from the Hannover region, is known both as an actress (“Aimée & Jaguar”) and as a filmmaker (“Before Dawn”). “Unorthodox” received much international attention – the “New York Times” called the story “breathtaking”.

Emmy clearers: “Succession”, “Schitt’s Creek” and “Watchmen

On Sunday evening, the three big Emmy-collectors were the drama “Succession” about the broken family of a media mogul, the friendly tolerance comedy “Schitt’s Creek” and the comic adaptation “Watchmen” based on a real massacre of blacks in the US South.

In the royal category of the evening, producer and screenwriter Jesse Armstrong chose an unusual speech. He wanted to say some “no thanks”, Armstrong said when announcing the award for best drama series to “Succession”. A “no thanks” goes to the virus and to Donald Trump and Boris Johnson for their “lousy and uncoordinated response,” he said. A “no thanks” also goes to all nationalists in the world and “all the media moguls who keep them in power,” the Briton said.

German director wins Emmy for “Unorthodox

His opulently equipped series is about the aging patriarch Logan Roy and how his children struggle to find a successor in his media company. It has been awarded seven prizes. The fact that during the awarding of the main prize the telephone rang briefly in the background remained one of the few glitches – “Room service, presumably”, joked Armstrong.

Award ceremony without audience

Otherwise, the US president was much more often the subject of many gags and serious allusions. At the beginning, presenter Jimmy Kimmel first spoke in front of applauding stars, but then revealed that these were recordings from previous years and that he would be almost alone on stage in the Staples Center. “Of course we don’t have an audience,” said the comedian. “This isn’t a MAGA rally,” Kimmel added as a side blow to the “Make America Great Again” campaign speeches that U.S. President Donald Trump gave to thousands of supporters during the Corona pandemic despite the risk of infection.

Kimmel then went backstage to a room full of monitors with switching to around 100 nominees. With the awarding of the first prize, “Schitt’s Creek” began its triumphal procession in the comedy categories – it took more than 70 minutes before any other show received a prize. By then, the warm-hearted series about the extravagant Rose family, who, after problems with the tax authorities, moved to a small village, which the father had once given to the son as a joke, had won in all seven important categories.

“In essence, our series is about the changes that love and acceptance trigger,” said Daniel Levy, who received awards as director, author and supporting actor. “And that is something that we need today more than ever before,” he added, before he enthusiastically called on viewers to go out and vote on November 3. In addition to him, Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy also received awards for their leading roles and Annie Murphy for the best female supporting role. Including the prizes for the best comedy series, as well as for casting and costume awards already given out on the eve of the show, “Schitt’s Creek” received nine awards.

At the Emmys for TV movies and mini-series, “Watchmen” was the big winner with a total of eleven awards. In their speeches, the creators reminded the audience of a dark chapter in US history that underlies the series: According to some estimates, up to 300 black people were killed in the Tulsa massacre in 1921. “This country often neglects its own history to its own detriment,” said screenwriters Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson.



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