Nicaraguan Filmmaker Gabriel Serra Nominated for Sports Emmy

Filmmaker Gabriel Serra during the filming of “El Mito Blanco” [The White Myth] in Costa Rica. Photo: Melisa Valarino

The series “Good Rivals,” focusing on the national soccer teams of the United States and Mexico, has been nominated for an Emmy in the category of “Best Documentary Series.”

Por Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Nicaraguan filmmaker Gabriel Serra is among those nominated in the 44th edition of the Sports Emmy prizes. The nomination comes from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for his series “Good Rivals,” which premiered in November 2022.

The film is competing in the category of best documentary series, against directors like Robert Alexander, with his series on the life of basketball player Shaquille O’Neal; and with Antoine Fugua and his docuseries on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Serra, originally from Managua, was nominated for an Oscar in 2015 for his documentary short “The Reaper” (2013), a story about death, told from the perspective of a veteran slaughterhouse worker in Mexico.

In 2020, Serra produced the feature-length documentary El Mito Blanco [“The White Myth”], a critical and thoughtful look at racism, migration and identity, based on communities that have been rendered invisible in Costa Rica due to their skin color. Among such groups is the large Nicaraguan immigrant community, made up of nearly 400,000 people according to the official data. These immigrants now comprise 7.4% of the total Costa Rican population.

In the film “Good Rivals”, Serra portrays the rise of the national men’s soccer team in the United States and their rivalry with the Mexican team. In addition, he peels back the different political, social and sporting layers that exist within both teams.

The three-chapter series is “far more than just a sports documentary,” states the Prime Video Official Trailer. “Good Rivals spotlights the personal and professional arcs of stars from each nation, like Landon Donovan (United States) and Rafa Márquez (Mexico), who became symbols of their country’s cultures during their respective careers in the early and mid 2000s.”

Good Rivals also “examines the passionate, international battle for on-field talent and fan support that has made the US-Mexico border one of the most fascinating soccer frontiers in the world, with players—and families—from both countries becoming the focus of recruiting battles between these two deeply interconnected nations.”

In November 2022, the Nicaraguan director was interviewed on the Telemundo late-night show “Latinx Now!”, which specializes in covering entertainment. In the interview, the filmmaker states that the project began in 2021.

“I began this project in 2021. In March of that year, I held my first meeting in Mexico with the producer from the Mexican side. That was something really special for me, because on the one hand I like soccer, and on the other I had a good understanding of the socio-political relations between the United States and Mexico,” Serra recalls.

“We conducted some very important research regarding the relationship between these two countries, using a lot of historic sources. I then began to insert these ideas into the series, to reflect the socio-political tension and show how soccer was also part of the tension,” the filmmaker adds.

When he announced the nominees, Adan Sharp, president and executive director of NATAS, expressed his profound excitement about, “the extraordinary quality of this year’s presentations.”

“The list of nominees never stops being inspiring. The competition this year is a moment of pride for the entire industry,” stated Justine Gubar, Head of Sports Awards for NATAS. “I hope to profoundly honor the incomparable achievements of this past year,” she added.

The Emmy prizewinners are selected by a general vote of the NATAS members, including over 18,000 professionals working in radio, television and other media from all over the United States.

The awards ceremony for the Sports Emmys will be held May 22, in the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.

The docuseries trailer can be viewed at: 

To watch the entire series:

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times

2 thoughts on “Nicaraguan Filmmaker Gabriel Serra Nominated for Sports Emmy

  • April 13, 2023 at 10:16 pm

    I am very happy that Gabriel Serra continues to create audiovisuals that are more than worthy of receiving awards, he has a great talent.

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