Czech cyberbullying series #martyisdead wins country's first International Emmy Award

The eight-part series that streams online looks at how bullying seriously affected one teenager.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 24.11.2020 12:06 (updated on 24.11.2020)

A Czech series has won an International Emmy Award for the first time. The online show #martyisdead, dealing with cyberbullying, won for Best Short-form Series.

It was one of 12 programs from seven countries to win prizes at the 48th International Emmy Awards. Series producers Milan Kuchynka and Vratislav Šlajer received the award at an online ceremony. A third producer, Jakub Košťál, was not present.

The award program was broadcast from an empty theater in New York City, with the nominees attending remotely. The Czech winners can be seen in the online video of the ceremony by choosing the segment in the menu on the right of the screen.

Kuchynka spoke first when the award was announced. “The Czech Republic is a small country, and Mall.TV is a small TV [station] but this award is a big success for us, and a huge motivation for the future,” he said.

Šlajer thanked and listed the people who helped create the show. “This is incredible. Thank you very much,” he added.

Kuchynka told the Czech News Agency (ČTK) that the unexpected award made him very happy. “I did not expect it at all. Even the nomination for the award was a huge success,” he said.

He added that cyberbullying is something that troubles many people, especially parents. “I as a parent and all the makers consider it a mission to get this information out,” he said.

Bionaut, one of series’ production companies, responded enthusiastically to the win. “Remember Nagano? That's exactly how we feel now! #martyisdead wins an International Emmy! Congratulations to the creators and thanks to everyone who supported Marty and who was with us,” they said on Facebook, referring to Czech ice hockey team winning the Gold Medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.

Mall.TV, which streams the series, on said on Facebook they began two years ago with the idea of creating Internet television and the dream that its content could one day become global. “Not many people believed us then, but today we have proved that the Czech Republic can also make a world-class production,” they said.

The eight-episode series can be watched online with English subtitles on the Mall.TV website.

Pavel Soukup directed the series, which is written by Jaroslav T. Miška and Jan Stehlík. The lead role of Marty is played by Jakub Nemčok.

The life of 15-year-old Marty is examined in the series. He committed suicide but left behind a large digital footprint. His father pieces together Marty’s online life to try to find out what caused his son’s death.

The series also won the main prize at the Serial Killer Festival and a Jury Award at the Austin Film Festival.

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The International Emmy Awards have been given out by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (IATAS) in recognition to the best television programs initially produced and aired outside the United States since 1973.