Indian American director Andrij Parekh has received a 2020 Emmy Award for directing the HBO drama series Succession, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Parekh won the “Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series” category, defeating nominees who directed shows such as Homeland, The Crown, The Morning Show and Ozark.
Succession also dominated at the Emmy Awards overall, according to Deadline. It claimed Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, as well as Outstanding Drama Series, oft-considered one of the more prestigious Emmy categories.
Parekh, who accepted the award from a hotel room in Prague, was thrilled.
“I am deeply honored and humbled by this award,” he said in his acceptance speech, according to American Bazaar. “This distinction has been bestowed upon me on my birthday. So, thank you for the gift.”
Directing the show has been a professional dream, Parekh added.
He also 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,” he said in his speech. “This is proof that you belong and this Emmy is ours,” he added.
The win was surprising for more than one reason. Even though Parekh has worked as a cinematographer for movies like Blue Valentine and The Zookeeper’s Wife, Succession was one of his first directing roles, American Bazaar reports.
Speaking to Star Tribune from the director’s home state of Minnesota, Parekh’s parents said they did not expect him to claim the award, and celebrated the shock win by opening a bottle of Champagne.
“He was thrilled,” mother Lesya Parekh told Star Tribune. “He said, ‘I hope I made you proud.’ We said, ‘Absolutely.’”
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