JTA — Those who think Jews control the media got some support for that view this week after Jews took home one-third of the prizes at Argentina’s annual television industry awards Monday evening.
The most awarded man of the night was the Argentine-American Adrian Suar (born Adrián Kirzner Schwartz in New York), the son of the Leible Schwartz, one of the most well-known Argentinean cantors and Yiddish singers. Suar won Tato Awards in the comedy and best producer categories. His television production company, Pol-ka, won 15 of the 49 awards.
“This year I’m receiving my first award as an actor in my whole career,” Suar said as he collected his prize at the iconic Colon Theatre in Buenos Aires. “According to my previous performances … I think this is understandable.”
The second most-awarded company, Endemol Argentina, is also run by a Jew, Martin Kweller. Last month, Kweller met with the DAIA Jewish umbrella group in an effort to fight discrimination through TV.
Other Jewish winners were Julio Chavez (born Julio Hirsch), who won best leading actor in a drama; Diego Korol, host of the comedy program “Sin Codificar”; Guido Kaczka, host of the entertainment show “A Todo o Nada”; and Gerardo Rozin, for the variety show “Gracias Por Venir Gracias Por Estar.” The Argentine version of the Israeli show “In Treatment,” known locally as “En Terapia,” won for best script, the first time an Israeli show has won a Tato.
The Tato Awards, presented by the Argentine Association of Independent Television Producers, or CAPIT, is named for Mauricio Borensztein, who performed under the stage name Tato Bores. First presented in 2009, the awards are determined by a jury of 2,000 television professionals. CAPIT’s president is Mauricio’s son, Alejandro Borenstein.
Argentine broadcasting history is studded with Jewish names. Jaime Yankelevich, a pioneer of radio broadcasting in the 1920s, introduced the technology necessary to start Channel 7, a state TV channel, in 1949. He is widely considered the father of Argentine television. The soap opera industry was developed in the 1960s by the Jewish businessman Alejandro Romay. And in the 1980s, Israeli-Argentine producer Yair Dori was responsible for exporting those telenovelas to Europe and Israel.
“I think there’s a Jewish gene that drove me to the entertainment industry,” Suar told Brando Magazine in 2008.