TV boss makes history as first ever Welsh judge for Emmys

A TV company boss from North Wales will be rubbing shoulders with superstars from the world of television after being chosen as a judge for the prestigious Emmy awards in New York.

Dylan Huws, the managing director of Caernarfon-based Cwmni Da, will be joining the glitterati on the red carpet at the luxury Sofitel hotel in Manhattan for the ceremony in November that will be televised to millions of people world-wide.

The 47th International Emmy Awards rank alongside their movie equivalent, the Oscars, in terms of glamour, prestige and achievement.

Dylan is the first person from Wales to be asked to be a judge for the Emmys and he’s hoping that one day a Welsh language television programme will be among those being honoured.

Last year he also made history when he announced he was turning the £5 million a year company, which employs 50 people, into an employee owned company. The move is believed to be a first in the UK broadcast industry.

Dylan has just returned from Beijing where he was part of the international judging panel chosen to run the rule over the best European-made productions in two different categories, for documentaries and for arts programme.

He said: “It was a real honour to be asked to be one of the judges because he panel was full of high-level producers, directors and industry figures – including programme makers I have a huge respect for.

“Among them was Andre Singer, an iconic Oscar-nominated documentary maker who has won an Emmy.

“Also on the panel were Ruby Chen, who is on the selection committee for the Oscars, and Vikram Chana, a vice president of the Discovery Channel, so I was in very good company.

“It was a pleasure to get to know them and have an opportunity to discuss and debate the shortlisted productions.

“It was very intense from the word go. We were viewing from 9am and had a short break for lunch before carrying on viewing until 7pm. It was hard going but hugely enjoyable to see so many top class productions.

“The programmes we viewed were in a wide range of different languages but they were all sub-titled in English.

“Over the course of 48 hours, we watched 14 hours of television and had some lively debates about which programmes should be going forward in the two categories in which I was a judge.

“The productions varied from hard-hitting factual documentaries to more personal and lyrical programmes. The one thing that all of them had in common was their consistently high-standard and sense of ambition.

“Our work was to select the top European productions that will compete for the best in category so it will be interesting to see what happens in the final round of judging.

“I’m not allowed to talk about the programmes themselves so everyone will have to wait until the finalists are announced.

“I’m look forward to the gala evening in New York – it doesn’t get much bigger than this in the film and television world.

“Overall, the festival will be held over three days with workshops and pitching sessions leading up to the awards ceremony itself which will be televised worldwide.

“This is the first time that a Welsh producer has been invited onto the judging panel with the other members coming from Spain, Taiwan, China, Korea, Malaysia, Japan and the USA.

“I think that Cwmni Da’s international reputation helped. The company has a healthy profile in the international market, and I’d like to think that our continued success in that area made us appealing to the Emmy team.

“The next breakthrough would be to get a Welsh production onto the shortlist. From what I’ve seen we certainly have the productions and talent that could hold their own with their international counterparts.”