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UK wins three International Emmy Awards, J.J. Abrams honored

Chris Michaud
Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 | 12:13 AM ET

NEW YORK, Nov 25 (Reuters) - United Kingdom won three International Emmy Awards on Monday, including one for Sean Bean as best actor, and producer-director J.J. Abrams received a special honor for his work on television series and films such as "Lost," "Star Trek" and the upcoming "Star Wars" chapter.

The awards, which honor television produced outside the United States, were more global in reach this year after having been dominated or even swept by the United Kingdom in recent years.

France and Brazil won two Emmys, while Australia, Germany and South Korea each won one.

Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro won best performance by an actress for her role in "Sweet Mother," in which she plays an elderly woman determined to embrace life, while Bean won as actor for his role as a lonely literature teacher who trawls nightclubs as a transvestite in "Accused."

"I've never actually really won anything before," Bean quipped as he accepted his award.

Abrams, an Emmy-award winner for "Lost" who is producing and directing the upcoming "Star Wars: Episode VII," was presented with the Founders Award by actor Zachary Quinto, who played Spock in "Star Trek."

"It's a privilege beyond words to work in television," Abrams said as he paid tribute to friends, family and colleagues, notably his wife whom he thanked "for her support and brutal honesty."

Nominees for the 41st annual awards, which were hosted by British comic John Oliver, spanned 19 countries.

The arts programming award was a tie between South Korea's "Hello? Orchestra," about a multi-cultural children's orchestra, and the United Kingdom's "Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender," about the late lead singer of the band Queen.

The award for best comedy went to the United Kingdom's "Moone Bay," about an 11-year-old boy with an adult imaginary friend, while France's rural-set, zombie-themed "The Returned" won best drama series. France also took the documentary prize for "5 Broken Cameras," in which a Palestinian farmer examines upheaval in a West Bank village.

Germany's "A Day for a Miracle," about a young doctor's valiant effort to save the life of a four-year-old girl presumed drowned, won the award for TV movie or miniseries, and Brazil's "Side by Side" was named outstanding telenovela.

The award for non-scripted, or reality, series was won by Australia's "Go Back to Where You Came From," in which prominent Australians on opposing sides of the asylum issue travel to desperate and dangerous corners of the world.

(Editing by Ken Wills)