WASHINGTON – Indian actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vir Das, along with the Sushmita Sen-starrer series “Aarya,” were among the nominations for India for the 2021 International Emmy Awards, announced Sept. 23.
A total of 44 nominees across 11 categories, spanning a record number of 24 countries, were nominated this year by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In the Best Comedy category, Das, whose standup “Vir Das: For India” got nominated alongside the likes of “Call My Agent Season 4,” “Motherland Christmas Special” and “Promesas De Campana,” spoke about this exciting development.
"I'm so honored to be nominated, but I'm just so happy it's for a show about my culture, and my people and how funny we are. The special was my love letter to India and this is just unbelievable," he said.
Nawazuddin has been nominated in the Best Actor category for his role in “Serious Men,” a satirical drama film based on Manu Joseph's book of the same name. Meanwhile, the Sushmita Sen-led crime drama web series “Aarya” has been nominated in the Best Drama Series category.
"We are so proud of our nominees and the record-breaking number of countries," said International Academy president and CEO Bruce Paisner in a statement. He added, "To those who feared the pandemic would slow down TV production around the world, this is your answer."
All nominated program trailers and exclusive nominee interviews will be featured online during the International Emmy World Television Festival from Nov. 12 to 22 on the International Academy's website. Winners will be announced at an in-person ceremony in New York City on Nov. 22, 2021, at a location that will be announced shortly.
The three nominations from India come after previously registering a strong performance at the 48th International Emmy Awards with filmmaker Richie Mehta's “Delhi Crime” winning the Best Drama Series honor in November 2020.
Bollywood star Sushmita Sen, meanwhile, shared her excitement on social media after the nomination for her crime drama web series.
The former Miss Universe took to her Instagram handle and shared a picture of the nominations. In the caption, an excited Sushmita wrote, "OMGGGGGG!!!! AARYA is nominated for Best Drama Series at the #InternationalEmmyAwards2021 @iemmys. Was busy dubbing for AARYA2...just got the news!!!! Yipppeeeeeee!!!! CONGRATULATIONS @madhvaniram @amitamadhvani @officialrmfilms @sandeipm @vinraw @disneyplushotstar @endemolshineind #teamaaryaa & THE MOST AMAZING CAST and CREW EVER!!!! To see INDIA on this list fills my heart!!!"
She further thanked her team and also congratulated the other two nominees from India, "Thank you wonderful people....your love & appreciation for #Aarya is the very soul of this celebration!!! This Team truly deserves it!! Congratulations to @nawazuddin._siddiqui and @virdas for their respective nominations and for adding to India's pride!! I love you guys!!! #duggadugga."
Directed by Ram Madhvani, Sandeep Modi, and Vinod Rawat, “Aarya,” an official remake of the popular Dutch crime-drama “Penoza,” will compete alongside Chile's “El Presidente,” Israel's “Tehran” and the British show “There She Goes.”
“Aarya,” which marked her return to acting after several years, revolves around Aarya Sareen (Sen), who is a caring mother and a loving wife. She is quite simplistic in her approach and is unaware of the illegal business her husband is a part of. However, things go bad for their family after Aarya's husband Tej Sareen (Chandrachur Singh), a pharma baron, is mysteriously killed.
The whole drug operation and illegal syndicate seek the death of his entire family. Seeing this, Aarya joins the gangs and becomes the mafia queen and seeks revenge from those who killed her husband. In this process, she also takes care of her three children.
Apart from Sen, the series also featured Sikandar Kher, Manish Chaudhari, Namit Das, veteran actor Chandrachur Singh and Vinod Rawat in the first season. Post-production on the show's second season is underway.