NEW YORK – South Africa’s political satire Puppet Nation ZA is one step closer to winning an International Emmy for Comedy. The final winners for the International Emmys 2016 will be announced during an awards ceremony on Monday night.
For now the team must be satisfied with a medal recognising their production, which pokes fun at local and international politicians, personalities and sports people. Members of show’s team involved in production, writing and voice over work attended the International Emmys medal ceremony in Manhattan on Saturday morning.
They count the likes of Gerard Depardieu and Dustin Hoffmann among their fellow nominees in other categories, along with contenders from China, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Columbia and Norway.
“Today you are all winners,” began Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chairman Fred Cohen. He addressed around 100 television professionals from 15 countries.
The show’s producer Tassyn Munro and voice artist Aggrey Lonake collected the nominee medal, accompanied by adopted patron Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (in puppet form). Recognisable to many international attendees, the Archbishop shared a few words after Munro, to the delight of the audience.
At last year Awards the show brought a puppet of Donald Trump, but decided against it this year. Trump is now elected President of the United States of America. Ironically during a penultimate presidential debate Democrat nominee Hilary Clinton said Russian President Vladimir Putin would prefer a puppet to lead the United States. “You’re the puppet,” retorted Trump.
Protests outside his self-titled Trump Towers took place just a few blocks from the hotel where a festival linked to the International Emmys was taking place this weekend.
Puppet Nation ZA is the only African nominee at this year’s event. Last year it was nominated alongside the South African productions Miners Shot Down and SA Master Chef.
The only other African production nominated last year was Jikulumessu from Angola.
*Note: This author is attending the International Emmys 2016 as a guest of StarSat and Puppet Nation ZA. You can follow her travels and live updates on the Emmys @ermbates.