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Not like everyone else: how an American with Ukrainian roots won an Emmy

Since 1949, the achievements of the creators of TV products have been awarded the Emmy Award. One of her last year's laureates went to a Ukrainian school as a child, wore an embroidered shirt and danced a hopak. More on this in the video VOA.

An Emmy for Best Director of a Drama Series was given to Andriy Parakh, an American of Ukrainian-Hindu origin.

He is a director of photography for more than a dozen independent American films, including Blue Valentine, The Zoo Keeper's Wife, Madame Bovary. As a director, he directed several episodes of well-known and critically acclaimed TV series - "Guardians" and "Legacy".

Andrey Parakh received an Emmy for Best Director of 3 episodes of the HBO television hit Heritage. Andrey is from a Ukrainian-Hindu family. His mother is from Lemko region.

“My mother is Ukrainian. Grandma and grandpa were from Przemysl. They left the city in 1938 and ended up in camps in Germany during the war. My mother was born there, - said Andrey. - Then in 1946 or 1947, my grandparents moved to the United States. My mom grew up in Delaware in a city with a small Ukrainian community. She met my father at the university. "

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After the wedding, the parents moved to Minneapolis, where Andrei grew up. The influence of Ukrainian roots was much greater than that of Indian.

“I felt more my Ukrainian identity. Because my dad, when he left India, moved away from his traditions, but my mother did not, '' Andrei said. “I attended Ukrainian Sunday school, practiced Ukrainian folk dances, wore wide trousers, red boots, and embroidered shirt.”

“In addition, I went to the Ukrainian church from the kindergarten age until the age of 15,” Andrey specified.

Dad insisted that his son become a doctor. But the guy didn’t have a heart for medicine. He left the preparatory medical school and went to travel. And in 1992 he visited Ukraine for the first time. It was during his travels that he became seriously interested in photography and began photographing new places.

In the end, the hobby turned into a hobby, Andrei moved to New York, where he entered the School of Art at New York University. Talent, and most importantly hard work, says Andrei, have borne fruit.

“Some of my classmates from the film school do not make films, but they studied with me, we had the same opportunities,” says Andrey. - When I was in film school I made 50 short films. Then I had no children, I could start working at 5 am and finish at 11 pm. "

For 20 years of work in the cinema, Andrei has managed to establish himself as a brilliant cameraman, and now a director, even though this gave him gray hair.

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“This lovely gray hair from years of pressure. You know the problem with American television - you have plenty of money, but no time, - says Andrey. - You have 12-13 days to rent 1 hour. I always want to have more space for independent cinema, close to European. It is more intimate and less grandiose because they cannot afford it. "

His inspiration was Andrei Tarkovsky's films Ivan's Childhood and Wings by Larisa Shepitko. Andrey often visited Ukraine, worked there and even shot several advertisements in Kiev. Having lived in two homelands, I got confused.

“Being in the States, I feel like a Ukrainian or an Indian, and when I’m far from the States, I feel like an American,” Andrei shares.

This is how the guy got stuck between cultures since childhood. He recalls that when he went to an American school, he was not considered an American, and when he attended a Ukrainian school, he was not seen as a Ukrainian.

“I never fit into a Ukrainian school. And then I spoke Ukrainian better among the students of my class, then I tried to compensate for the fact that I did not belong to them, ”recalls Andriy.

Therefore, he will devote his speech at the Emmy ceremony to those who do not fit into the generally accepted norm.

“I want to dedicate this award to all the children who have a name like mine, which is difficult to pronounce. Who does not look like all classmates, who feel like outsiders and who are seen as Americans with a hyphen, and not just Americans. And this Emmy is an award for all of us, ”Andrey said in his speech.

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