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The 2015 C21 Drama Awards Show was held last night at BFI in London, and the big foreign-language Euro TV winners were The Bridge and Deutschland 83.

The Bridge III (Bron III / Broen III) Sofia Helin
The Bridge III (Bron III / Broen III): Sofia Helin as Saga Norén – Photo © Filmlance International AB

This year’s competition had more than 200 program submissions, of which 70 leading drama commissioners — including Canal+’s Álex Martínez Roig, HBO Nordic’s Ragnhild Thorbech, NRK’s Fredrik Luihn and Ivar Køhn, ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland GmbH’s Ulrich Krüger, Sky TV’s Giovanna Arata, SVT’s Christian Wikander and Stephen Mowbray, TV 2 Denmark’s Katrine Vogelsang, TV2 Norway’s Nina Flemmen, YLE’s Johanna Salmela and Liselott Forsman, and C21Media Chairman David Jenkinson — voted for the finalists.

Congratulations to every program and actor who made it to the final round.

Now on to the winners!

The Bridge III (Bron III / Broen III) cast photo
The Bridge III (Bron III / Broen III) – Photo © Filmlance International AB / Nimbus Film

The Bridge: Season 3 (Sweden/Denmark) topped The Fall: Series 2 (UK), The Returned: Season 2 (France), and The Walking Dead: Season 7 (US) for Best Returning Series.

And The Bridge‘s lead, Sofia Helin, bested Gillian Anderson (The Fall), Moa Gammel (Jordskott / Sweden), Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary / UK), and Constance Zimmer (UnReal / US) for the Best Female Performance award.

I’m telling you, both the show and the actor deserve the recognition, because Åh. Min. Gud.

Any and all questions about whether Season 3 would be as good without Kim Bodnia as Martin Rohde have been answered. It is is freaking awesome.

Thure Lindhardt (The Borgias, Flame and Citron) has stepped into the show without missing a beat to play Henrik Sabroe, Saga Norén’s new partner from Denmark. It’s a brilliant pairing of characters, and Helin and Lindhardt have great chemistry. The storyline — dark, intricate, and seriously twisted — is about as noir as they come.

The Bridge III set new viewership records in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland when it premiered in September. Right now we’re four episodes in on BBC Four, and the next two episodes airing this Saturday cannot get here soon enough. Read “The Bridge/Bron/Broen III: Sofia Helin Is Back as Saga Norén in Hit Crime Drama” for details.

(To the producers: Fans want and deserve a fourth series. Seriously.)

The Bridge is produced by Filmlance International for DR1 (Denmark) and SVT1 (Sweden), and distributed by ZDF Enterprises.

Deutschland 83
Deutschland 83: Jonas Nay as Martin Rauch. Photo by Nik Konietzny, courtesy of UFA Fiction / SundanceTV

Deutschland 83 (Germany) also won two awards. It beat The Bridge, False Flag (Israel), Jordskott, Narcos (US), and Vis a Vis (Spain) for Best Non-English-Language Drama, and Peaky Blinders (UK), Spotless (France/UK), and UnReal for Best Casting.

Set against the real culture wars and political events of Germany in the 1980s, Deutschland 83 reveals the experiences of Germans from both sides of the Berlin Wall during the peak of Cold War tensions. The taut spy thriller and coming-of-age story is a real nail-biter, one that is also filled with some of the top tunes from the decade, not the least of which is Nena’s “99 Luftballons.”

To date, 20 broadcasters have picked up the eight-part serial. It was the first German-language drama ever to air on a major US cable network when it premiered on SundanceTV in June 2015. Next month Deutschland 83 will kick off the launch of Walter Presents, the new (and free) UK streaming service devoted to foreign-language dramas.

Jonas Nay (Tatort), a finalist in the Best Male Performance category (see below), is fabulous as Martin Rauch/Moritz Stamm, a 24-year-old East German forced to spy for the Stasi foreign service on the other side of the Wall. His mission: to gather the secrets of NATO’s military strategy while operating undercover as the aide-de-camp in the West German army.

Deutschland 83 is produced by UFA Fiction for RTL Germany, and distributed by FremantleMedia International.

The finalists and winners in other categories include:

Best Consumer Marketing Campaign for a Drama

  • Humans (UK/US) — winner
  • Spotless (France/UK)
  • Y Gwyll/Hinterland (UK)

Best Digital Original

  • Dixi (UK) — winner
  • Kasim Badass (Norway)
  • Taxi (Sweden)

Best TV Movie

  • How To Murder Your Wife (New Zealand) — winner
  • An Inspector Calls (UK)
  • The Marina Cafe (Spain)
  • Prim, The Murder on Turk Street (Spain)

Best Miniseries

  • The Book of Negroes (Canada) — winner
  • The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies (UK)
  • Olive Kitteridge (US)
  • Safe House (UK)
  • Viva Hate (Sweden)

Best Male Performance

  • Wagner Moura (Narcos / US) — winner
  • Aidan Turner (Poldark / UK)
  • Christopher Eccleston (Safe House / UK)
  • Jamie Dornan (The Fall / UK)
  • Jonas Nay (Deutschland 83 / Germany)

Best English-Language Drama

  • Wolf Hall (UK) — winner
  • The Fall (UK)
  • Narcos (US)
  • Poldark (UK)
  • River (UK)

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Sofia Helin, The Bridge, Deutschland 83 Win at C21 Drama Awards
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