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A night at MIPCOM dedicated to diversity saw the BBC TV drama Damilola, Our Beloved Boy win for best race and diversity scripted series at the inaugural Diversify TV Excellence Awards on Tuesday in Cannes.
Samira Sorzano, a representative for Banijay Rights, picked up the trophy for Minnow Films, which produced the drama around the true-life murder of a 10-year-old Nigerian boy, Damilola Taylor, in a London tower block stairwell in 2000 and his parent’s journey for justice and deliverance from profound grief.
“Minnow worked closely with his [Damilola’s] father to be sensitive, to keep everyone happy, including the broadcaster. It wasn’t all doom and gloom,” Sorzano told the Hollywood Reporter.
The best non-scripted race and diversity show honors went to Home Sweet Home, an RTV Slovenija project about a Syrian student who found refuge in Slovenia, only to have efforts to find a new home after an apartment fire thwarted by local prejudices.
In the LBGTQ categories, the best scripted series prize went to Man in an Orange Shirt, produced by Kudos for BBC Two, while the non-scripted series prize went to Morgane Productions’ Becoming He or She, a France 5 show about five transgender teenagers fighting for gender recognition.
“France is always seen as a human rights country. But we are a very conservative country, and we need to open ourselves up and show what is the reality,” Morgane producer Guilhene Iop told the Diversify Awards audience.
Elsewhere, in the disability categories, Team Chocolat, produced by de Mensen for Één Belgium, won for best scripted series, and the non-scripted series prize went to Employable Me, a Canadian documentary by Employable Me Productions that follows job-seekers with disabilities trying to match their unique abilities with open positions.
To qualify for Diversify Awards, TV shows have to reflect race and ethnicity, LGBTQ or disabled communities and have aired on a linear or digital platform. Special guests at the Carlton Hotel gala included Sean Cohan, A+E Networks president international and digital, and Ebonylife TV CEO Mo Abud.
Transgender model Zion Moreno, star of the reality show Slay: The Series, was the host of the awards ceremony.
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