Los Angeles: Director Andrij Parekh, the Indian connect in the Emmys 2020 winner roster, has dedicated his award to all people of colour.
Parekh, who is of Indian-Ukrainian descent, won an Emmy for directing the “Hunting” episode of drama series “Succession”, one of the big winners at the annual gala this year.
An acclaimed cinematographer for 20 years, the “Succession” job incidentally marked his directorial debut.
“I am deeply honoured and humbled by this award. This distinction has been bestowed upon me on my birthday. So, thank you for the gift,” Parekh said while starting his acceptance speech, going on to thank the cast and crew of the show.
“The show has been such a professional dream starting as a cinematographer, and now this… I want to thank my beautiful wife and daughter who put up with my artistic pursuits, brother and my mom and dad,” he added.
Parekh dedicated the award to “all the kids whose names like mine are difficult to pronounce”.
“To those who don’t look like their classmates and are defined as outsiders, as hyphenated Americans and not simply just Americans. This is proof that you belong and this Emmy is ours,” he added.
Parekh’s various assignment in the past include “Half Nelson”, “Sugar”, “Blue Valentine”, “The Zookeeper’s Wife”, “13 Reasons Why”, “Madame Bovary” and “Show Me A Hero”.
Parekh was born in Boston and raised in Minneapolis. As a director, Parekh has helmed short films like “Dead Roosters”, “Zimove Vesilya”. He directed an episode of the show “Watchmen”.
In an interview to a website in the past, Parekh had shared that his Gujarati roots make him good at business, and his Slavic soul infuses an emotional element to his creative work.
“Being ‘mixed race’ and ‘other’ has lent me the unique cultural place of being an outsider — and as an outsider, I think that I’ve always ‘watched’,” Parekh said while looking back at his journey in the industry.
“That’s what makes me a good cinematographer and director — I simply watch without trying to interfere too much (with actors). And people can’t pin me down with stereotypes or prejudices. So in many ways I’m free,” he added, sharing: “Because I’m mixed race, I’m not sure that people do or can stereotype me. They often have no idea where I’m from or what I am,” he said.
Asked how the culture of India and Ukraine influences his work, he said: “I have the combination of Indo and Slavic roots. My Gujarati side ensures I’m good at business, and my Slavic soul has a strong emotional element.”
“Succession” follows the lives of the Roy family as they contemplate their future, once the family’s aging patriarch (essayed by Brian Cox) begins to step back from their media and entertainment conglomerate.
The show also took home the top award — Best Drama Series — as well as Best Actor for Jeremy Strong, besides winning awards in the Drama categories for Best Writing and Best Directing at the virtual ceremony.