By Kim Boram
SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean outbreak hit "Squid Game" won the best long-form TV series title at the Gotham Awards, becoming the country's first winner at the U.S. awards ceremony for lower-budget indie movies and TV series.
At the awards ceremony held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Monday (U.S. time), the Netflix original was awarded Breakthrough Series -- Long Format (over 40 minutes), beating "Small Axe," "It's A Sin," "The Good Lord Bird, "The Underground Railroad" and "The White Lotus."
But its lead actor Lee Jung-jae did not win the category of Outstanding Performance in a New Series. Instead, Thuso Mbedu in "The Underground Railroad" and Ethan Hawke in "The Good Lord Bird" shared the honor.
"It took 12 years to make this show and present it to people, but it took less than 12 days to become the no. 1 show on the planet. It's a miracle," director-writer Hwang Dong-hyuk said in an acceptance speech. "Thank you for watching it, and thank you for loving it. Thank you so much."
During the event, "Squid Game" star Jung Ho-yeon took the stage as a presenter of the Breakthrough Nonfiction Series prize, which went to PBS' "Philly D.A."
It is the first time South Korean-made content has been awarded at the Gotham Awards, organized by the Independent Filmmaker Project, known as the first movie awards show in the run-up to the Academy Awards slated for March. Films budgeted under $35 million are eligible to be nominated at the Gothams.
Last year, South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung was nominated for best actress for her performance in the immigration film "Minari." But she failed to win the category.
Since its official release on Sept. 17, "Squid Game" has swept Netflix's top popular charts across the world, reaching the No. 1 spots in more than 90 countries where the streaming service is available.
It also became the most-watched Netflix content of all time, with a total of 1.65 billion hours of streaming in the first four weeks of release.
The record-breaking run has helped the all-Korean language show emerge as a leading contender in some upcoming prestigious awards shows, including the Critics Choice Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.