International Emmys: David Tennant, Hayley Squires Take Acting Awards, ‘Tehran’ Best Drama

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Atlantic Crossing was the big winner at the 2021 International Emmy Awards, winning the prize for best TV movie or mini-series.

A historical drama set during World War II, Atlantic Crossing tells the story of the Crown Princess of Norway fleeing to America to escape the Nazi invasion of her country and her interactions with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. Starring Sofia Helin as Norwegian Crown Princess Märtha and Kyle MacLachlan as Roosevelt, the series aired on NRK in Norway and Masterpiece Theatre on PBS.

The night’s other big prize, best drama series, went to Kan 11 and Apple’s Israeli spy thriller Tehran while season four of French show Call My Agent! took the International Emmy for best comedy.

In the acting categories, it was a clean sweep for British actors with Hayley Squires winning best actress for her performance in the Channel 4 porn industry drama Adult Material and David Tennant winning best actor for his haunting turn as serial killer Dennis Nielsen in ITV’s Des. 

The International Emmy winners were announced at a live ceremony in New York on Monday. Insecure actress Yvonne Orji hosted the event with presenters including Vanessa Williams, Aidan Quinn, Brian d’Arcy James, Method Man, Piper Perabo, Emeraude Toubia, Wilson Cruz, Felipe Santana and Angélica.

NBA star Dirk Nowitzki presented this year’s International Emmy Directorate Award, a lifetime achievement honor, to Thomas Bellut, director-general of German public broadcaster ZDF.

This year’s International Emmys were the most cosmopolitan in the event’s 49-year history, with a record 24 countries represented across the 44 nominees. In all, the 11 winning International Emmy programs and performances span 8 countries.

Full list of 2021 International Emmy winners in bold. 

TV Movie/Mini-Series

Atlantic Crossing, Cinenord / Beta Film / PBS / SVT/ DR / Nevision / NRK

Des, New Pictures / ITV

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay, CJ ENM / Studio Dragon / Story TV / Goldmedalist

All The Women In The World, Original Globoplay

Drama Series

Aarya, Disney+ Hotstar / Ram Madhvani Films / Endemol Shine India

El Presidente, Amazon Studios / Gaumont / Fabula / Kapow

Tehran, Donna and Shula Productions / Paper Plane Productions

There She Goes – Season 2, Merman Television / BBC / BritBox


Call My Agent – Season 4, Mon Voisin Productions / Mother Productions / France Télévision / Netflix

Motherland: Christmas Special, Merman Television / Two Four / BBC / Lionsgate

Campaign Promises, FoxTelecolombia / Estudios Teleméxico / Claro Video

Vir Das: For India, Weirdass Comedy / Netflix

Best Performance by an Actress

Valeria Bertuccelli In El Cuaderno De Tomy, Pampa Films / Netflix

Ane Gabarain In Patria, Alea Media / HBO Europe

Menna Shalaby In Every Week Has A Friday, Shahid VIP / Film Factory / Meem

Hayley Squires In Adult Material, Fifty Fathoms Productions

Best Performance by an Actor

Roy Nik In Normal, Dori Media / HOT

Nawazuddin Siddiqui In Serious Men, Bombay Fables / Cineraas Entertainment / Netflix

Christian Tappán In The Great Heist, Dynamo Producciones / Netflix

David Tennant In Des, New Pictures / ITV


Sieged, Original Globoplay / Globo Journalism

Hope Frozen: A Quest To Live Twice, 2050 Productions / Netflix

They Call Me Babu, Pieter van Huystee Film

Toxic Beauty, White Pine Pictures / Orama Filmworks

Arts Programming

Emicida: AmarElo – It’s All For Yesterday, Netflix

Kubrick By Kubrick, Temps Noir / Telemark / Arte France

Kabuki Actors’ Anguish – Is Entertainment Nonessential?, Fuji Television Network / Kyodo Television

Romeo And Juliet: Beyond Words, Footwork Films / BalletBoyz / BBC / Royal Opera House / Proton Projekt

Non-English Language US Primetime Program

21st Annual Latin Grammy Awards, Univision Network / The Latin Recording Academy

A Tiny Audience, February Entertainment

Covid 19 Adaptarnos O Morir, WAPA TV / WAPA América

Premio Lo Nuestro 2020, Univision

Non-Scripted Entertainment

That’s Love!, Shelter / Toreador

I-Land, CJ ENM

The Masked Singer – Season 2, Televisa / EndemolShine Boomdog

The Masked Singer, Bandicoot Scotland / ITV

Short-Form Series

Beirut 6:07, Shahid VIP / MBC Group / IMAGIC

Diário De Um Confinado, Globo

People Talking – Season 2, Set Màgic Audiovisual / Atresmedia

INSiDE, Luminous Beast


A Mother’s Love, Globo

Destiny, Plural Entertainment Portugal

The Song Of Glory, China Huace Film & TV Co., Ltd / Croton Cultural Media Co., Ltd / Croton Entertainment Co., Ltd / Shanghai Tencent Penguin Film / Culture Communication Co., Ltd / Jolly Orange Studio

A Quest To Heal, Mediacorp TV Singapore Pte

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