The Israeli comedy series "Nevsu" won the International Emmy for best comedy at a ceremony in New York on Monday. The Reshet Channel 13 show centers around a man of Ethiopian Jewish background and his Ashkenazi wife.
The International Emmy for arts programming went to a Dutch documentary, "Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story," about the Israeli short story and television and film scriptwriter. The International Emmys are given to television productions broadcast outside of the United States.
"Nevsu," an affectionate term meaning "soul" in the Amharic language of Ethiopia, was created by Yosi Vasa, Shai Ben Atar and Liat Shavit. It tells the story of Gili Chalchau, played by Vasa, who works in public relations and is married to an artist, Tamar, played by Meyrav Feldman. In the show, the couple have a 5-year-old daughter.
Vasu facetiously joked that he was worried because he didn’t know how much the Emmy statue weighed and is only allowed 23 kilograms in his luggage, exclaiming that it was coming home with him.
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His situation comedy highlights the differences in the couple's backgrounds, along with the prejudices and tensions that their marriage causes in their extended families, which includes Tamar's tactless mother, played by Hana Laszlo, and Gili's widowed mother, played by Maski Shivro, who is adamant about following Ethiopian tradition.
Last year it was reported that the Fox television network in the United States was seeking to produce a spinoff American version of the show. Negotiations over the venture were conducted with "Nevsu's" producer, Endemol Shine Israel, but never came to fruition.
Nevsu is not the first Israeli show to win an international Emmy. In 2010, "Ramzor" took the honors in the same category. An American version of that show, "Traffic Light," ran for one season in 2011.