The "Tokyo" episode of the first, 13-show season of the public television travel series "Rudy Maxa's World" won a prestigious regional Emmy award last night in the category of "Arts/Entertainment feature" from the Upper Midwest chapter of the National Television Academy. It's the second Emmy win for the series in that category--last year, the "Rajasthan" show captured an Emmy as well. Because the entry deadline bisected the series' season, only two shows were available for consideration by judges last year while 11 shows were eligible for consideration in 2009. "I realize it's quite extraordinary for two episodes in an inaugural season to win Emmys in a major category," said executive producer Rudy Maxa. "And the credit goes to Susan McNally, who wrote the script and co-executive produced the show, along with our photographer, Kirk Miller, whose artistic eye was well matched with the Japanese zeitgeist."
"Rudy Maxa's World" is the sixth season of shows hosted by Maxa for public television, and the first produced entirely by his company, St. Paul-based RMW Productions. The company is currently producing a seventh season of shows, with episodes on South Africa, London, Scotland, and Uzbekistan's Silk Road already filmed. Last night's win follows receipt of two Telly silver awards (the highest award possible from a judging panel of advertising and production professionals) for the "Kyoto" and "Bangkok" episodes and two CINE Golden Eagle awards for the "Tokyo" and "Rajasthan" shows. "The Tokyo episode was particularly interesting to produce," said Susan McNally, "because Tokyo has so much color and life. Everything from food to fashion is done with perfection, and we hope we captured that." The crew was assisted during filming in Tokyo by local resident and guide Shinji Nohara, who has worked with journalists and television crews from around the world on assignment in Tokyo. "Shinji's good spirits, his energy, and his willingness to tolerate our long days and nights of shooting made him an ideal 'fixer' during our week of work in Tokyo," said Maxa. "Oh, and he also speaks Japanese." The win coincides with the start of the broadcast of "Rudy Maxa's World" overseas by Travel Channel International, which recently began broadcasting the series in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Africa with Asia to follow in 2010.
The most recent season of "Rudy Maxa's World" was made possible by generous underwriting funds from The Leading Hotels of the World, Northwest Airlines, the Japan National Tourism Organization, and MedjetAssist. The series' sponsoring station is Twin Cities Television, and the shows are distributed nationally by American Public Television. DVDs of "Rudy Maxa's World" are available at www.maxa.tv, as are DVDs from previous seasons, titled "Smart Travels: Europe with Rudy Maxa" and "Smart Travels: Pacific Rim with Rudy Maxa," produced in conjunction with Seattle-based Small World Productions.
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