Writer Shailja Kejriwal, a jury member for the 2020 Emmys

According to her, India is one of the largest markets for content consumption.

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Writer-producer Shailja Kejriwal says serving as a juror for the International Emmy Awards in the Covid-19 era was an interesting experience, with the virtual world connecting people all across the world.

“Looking at the amazing work from different parts of the world from the point of view of relevance, inclusivity and impact is a big responsibility but it’s worth it,” she said.

Talking about the process of voting for the jury in the Covid-19 era, Kejriwal said the pandemic moved the judging process online this year.

“The most interesting part of being on a jury like this is meeting and interacting with other members as well as talent, which unfortunately could not happen this year. So that was sad, but the great experience was watching some amazing content from different parts of the world. The professionalism and fairness with which it was hosted by Keiko H. Bang, CEO, Millenasia, was amazing. None of the jury members were allowed to speak to each other before the judging process was over,” she added.

Kejriwal, known for producing films Madaari (2016), Qarib Qarib Single (2017), and Churails (2020), went on to explain the judging process.

“We all watched the content at the exact same time and had to judge individually for the best concept and production without influencing one another. There were break out groups, where we got a chance to interact with the other jury members and we could discuss anything but the material we were judging, so that was interesting.”

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“It opens up a lot of opportunities for sharing best practices and/or collaborating in the future. Being part of the jury is by invitation and our category this year was to judge the semi- final round of Best Drama Series,” she elaborated.

This year, the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards gala was held virtually on 20 September.

Canadian family comedy Schitt’s Creek made history at the ceremony, winning nine awards and breaking the Emmys record for most wins in a single season for a comedy. Succession won the Best Drama Series accolade. Its director, Andrij Parekh who is of Indian-Ukrainian descent, won for directing the “Hunting” episode. He dedicated his award to all people of color.

Asked about representation of India on foreign shores, jury member Shailja Kejriwal said: “As a jury member you are not privy to content that comes from your own region, but seeing the shows that made it to the top five in the last couple of years, I would say that India has a fair bit of representation.

“Not only are our makers and artists creating content that is viewed globally, but we also are one of the largest markets for content consumption.”


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