Director Ram Madhvani on Monday said he is overjoyed to represent India at the 2021 International Emmy Awards with his debut web series “Aarya”, featuring actor and former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen. The Disney+ Hotstar series has been nominated in the best drama series category at the award ceremony, which is scheduled to be held on Tuesday in New York. “Aarya”, co-created by Madhvani and Sandeep Modi, is a crime thriller featuring Sen as the eponymous protagonist.
The show, an official remake of the popular Dutch crime-drama “Penoza”, revolves around a happily married woman (Aarya) played by Sen, whose world turns upside down when her husband, pharma baron Tej Sareen (Chandrachur Singh) is shot and how she gets to know that Tej may have been involved in an illegal drug racket, which now threatens her family.
Madhvani, whose latest film “Dhamaka” released last week on Netflix, said being nominated at the 49th edition of the International Emmys is a huge achievement for the team.
“Here we are after taking a 16-hour flight, we are hoping when we go back, we will win but even if we don’t it is a big, big thing to be nominated. I wish we could have been here personally all of us together. With your wishes from everybody out there we are hoping we will win,” the director, who is in New York, told reporters at a virtual press conference.
Besides “Aarya”, actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vir Das have also received nods at the awards. While Siddiqui is nominated in the best actor category for his Netflix movie “Serious Men”, Das is a contender in the comedy segment for his Netflix comedy special “Vir Das: For India”.
Asked if with three nominations India is making its presence felt at the upcoming ceremony, Madhvani said, “We were there at the event yesterday evening where Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vir Das were there. When we saw all of us together, it was a feeling of wow…
“We are here and sort of just to represent India through an event like this, I wouldn’t say it’s surreal because it is real. It’s happening. But I think it is something which is not something that I thought would ever happen.”
The director also said he has been told the competition is tough and wished the best to their fellow nominees. “Aarya” will face off with Chile’s “El Presidente”, Israel’s “Tehran” and the second season of “There She Goes” from the UK.
“I keep hearing they are very good… I am happy to be here,” he added.
Madhvani also recalled how he initially wanted to make “Aarya” 10 years ago as a movie but was disappointed when the project didn’t materialise. “…but as a result of that, I was able to make ‘Neerja’ and as a result of which ‘Aarya’ became a series and as a result of which were here at the Emmys. Now I have tears of joy in my eyes that we have reached here. The credit goes to all my entire team, especially, writers, co-directors and actors,” he added.
Sen, who recently underwent a surgery, gave the press conference a miss.
“The one person who would have loved this would be Sushmita. And she is sending messages. She is missing out. We all know from her Instagram post… but she is doing fine,” Madhvani said.
Singh said he was overjoyed when he learnt about the Emmy nomination. “It has been a magical journey to be a part of ‘Aarya’ and Ram thinking of me for this character and then being cast for it, doing the workshops, then working with so many brilliant people, the entire process has stayed with me.
“It’s befitting that this web series has gone to the Emmys because it’s a labour of love, a lot of people have put blood, sweat, and tears. It is Ram’s long cherished vision. I hope we win this award,” he added.
The first season of “Aarya” also featured Sikander Kher, Ankur Bhatia, Namit Das, Vikas Kumar, Sugandha Garg, among others. The makers recently unveiled the teaser of the second season of “Aarya” but are yet to announce the release date.
The winners for the 2021 International Emmy Awards will be announced during an in-person ceremony on Tuesday. Indian audiences can watch the ceremony on November 23 at 5.30 a.m. IST.