Al Gore wins International Emmy Awards

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Vice President Al Gore won another honor on Monday when he received the Founders Award at the International Emmy Awards, which also gave a top prize to a controversial British television film about the assassination of President George W. Bush.

Former Vice President Al Gore arrives with his wife, Tipper, for the International Emmys in New York November 19, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

“Death of President,” which explores the aftermath of Bush’s assassination in Chicago in October 2007, won the International Emmy for best TV movie or miniseries, leading a pack of winners from the United Kingdom and the BBC that dominated the 35th annual awards.

The award was presented moments after Gore accepted his honor, an annual prize that recognized his role in launching Current TV, a cable and satellite network that uses viewer-created content.

Gore, accepting from Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro, said in brief remarks that the future of world democracy “depends to a surprising degree on democratizing TV.” Current TV was thus born of the idea of connecting the Internet to television, Gore said.

The former vice president, who ran against Bush in 2000 in a disputed election that was decided by a divided U.S. Supreme Court, also used the occasion to lobby on behalf of the environment, saying “the climate crisis is by far the most serious challenge the human race has ever faced.”

Earlier this year Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize, and graced the stage at the Academy Awards when the documentary about his lecture tour on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth” won the Oscar. He also won a prime-time Emmy for Current TV.

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De Niro injected a political note, saying that Gore had been “voted out of office by the Supreme Court” in 2000.

Most all of competitive awards went to United Kingdom productions, which took seven of the nine prizes including best drama series for Granada Television’s “The Street” and best comedy for the BBC’s “Little Britain Abroad.”

“The Street“‘s Jim Broadbent tied for best actor with Pierre Bokma of the Netherlands’ “The Chosen One,” while Muriel Robin was one of the few non-U.K. winners as best actress for “Marie Besnard -- The Poisoner,” in which she played a real life black widow serial killer.

Best documentary honors went to “Stephen Fry -- The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive,” while “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” which chronicles a contest to star as Maria von Trapp in a London production of “The Sound of Music,” was voted best non-scripted, or reality show.

The best children’s program honor went to Poland’s “The Magic Tree” while best arts programming was won by “Simon Schama’s Power of Art: Bernini,” another BBC co-production.

A special award co-presented with UNICEF went to Thailand’s “From South to North, From East to West,” an AIDS education program written by children.

French television executive Patrick Le Lay was honored with the Directorate Award in recognition of his guiding the growth of TF1 into France’s leading channel since its privatization, and helping to usher in new digital platforms.

Editing by Philip Barbara