Entertainment

Latinos Have A Long History Of Being Nominated At The Academy Awards With Some Major Wins

“Roma” is obviously the talk of the town leading up to the Academy Awards ceremony, but Latino talent has made itself heard for decades. Actors, directors and cinematic craftspeople have been nominated and sometimes been declared the winners. For example, Mexican directors have won four out of the last five Best Director Oscars. Here’s a list of some of the standouts of Latino origin in Oscar’s famed history. This year “Roma” could indeed make history as the first Spanish-language film to win as Best Picture.

Here’s a brief look into the history of Latinos are the Oscars and the wins and nominations that validated our work in the industry.

Salma Hayek: nominated for “Frida”

Category: Best Actress in a Leading Role

Year: 2002

Credit: Frida / Miramax Films

Now that the can of worms concerning Harvey Weinstein is open and that we know that he bullied Salma all throughout the production of this film, we are even prouder of her. She gave us a performance for the ages despite the dire circumstances in which she had to embody Mexico’s most famous painter.

Guillermo Del Toro: nominated for “Pan’s Labyrinth” (El laberinto del fauno)

Category: Best Foreign Language Film

Year: 2006

Credit: Pan’s Labyrinth / Estudios Picasso, Wild Bunch, Tequila Gang

Del Toro first got the spotlight with this amazing fantasy film. He didn’t win, losing to the German “The Lives of Others,” but he certainly made an impact.

 

Adriana Barraza: nominated for “Babel”

Category: Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Year: 2006

Credit: Babel / Paramount Pictures

The veteran telenovela actress impressed us with her portrayal of a nanny caught in the midst of a terrible twist of fate. Her character was tender, yet brave.

Benicio del Toro: win for “Traffic”

Category: Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Year: 2001

Credit: Traffic / Compulsion Inc.

We can forgive this Puerto Rican actor his fake Tijuana accent. Through his imposing figure, he could really communicate the violence and despair involved in the cartel wars, north and south of the border.

Guillermo Del Toro: win for “The Shape of Water”

Categories: Best Director and Best Picture

Year: 2018

Credit: guillermo-del-toro-shape-of-water-bts. Digital image. Variety.

His reimagining of fairy tales set in the Cold War era is an impressive feat, a lovely ode to the monsters he loves. It is a spectacular achievement in film.

Alfonso Cuarón: win for “Gravity”

Category: Best Director

Year: 2014

Credit: cuaron_gravity. Digital image. Variety

This movie is a miracle. Not even Stanley Kubrick had made us feel like we were in space. Cuarón’s mastery of cinematic space left the Academy speechless and for good reason.

Alejandro González Iñárritu: win for “Birdman”

Categories: Best Director and Best Picture

Year: 2015

Credit: birdman-alejandro-gonzc3a1lez-ic3b1c3a1rritu. Digital image. Variety.

The Mexican director had already been nominated for “Babel,” but with “Birdman” he actually had fun! And it shows. His take on the state of the movie industry won the top prizes in the 2015 ceremony and established him as a powerhouse in Hollywood.

Alejandro González Iñárritu: win for “The Revenant”

Category: Best Director

Year: 2016

Credit: therevenantinterview-932×501. Digital image. Deadline.

Oops, I did it again. Yes, the director repeated the feat with this extremely violent yet beautiful film that also gave Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar after tons of nominations.

Juan J. Campanella: win for “The Secret in Their Eyes” (El secreto de sus ojos)

Category: Best Foreign Language Film

Year: 2010

Credit: The Secret in Their Eyes / Tornasol Films

This is perhaps one of the best Latin American films ever made. A brainy and emotional take on the scars that the military dictatorship on Argentina left for people to deal with. Ricardo Darin is in his element, a true acting legend.

Demián Bichir: nominated for “A Better Life”

Category: Best Actor in a Leading Role

Year: 2012

Credit: A Better Life / Summit Entertainment

An important film about migration gave Bichir the opportunity to shine. He is an illegal worker who fights the system in order to be able to care for his son. Heartbreaking. Brace yourselves for a year or two in the not-so-happy ending.

Anthony Quinn: nominated for “Zorba the Greek”

Category: Best Actor in a Leading Role

Year: 1965

Credit: Zorba the Greek / Twentieth Century Fox

The Mexican actor is a true Hollywood legend and this is perhaps his most famous role. Ask your abuelito and he wi will start singing and dancing to Greek music. Believe us.

Fernanda Montenegro: nominated for “Central Station” (Central Do Brasil)

Category: Best Actress in a Leading Role

Year: 1999

Credit: Central Station / Audiovisual Development Bureau, Ministerio da Cultura, BEI Comunicações

The veteran Brazilian actress was vulnerable and heroic in her portrayal of a woman who cares for a lost child.

 

Catalina Sandino Moreno: nominated for “Maria Full of Grace”

Category: Best Actress in a Leading Role

Year: 2004

Credit: Maria Full of Grace / HBO Films

This Colombian actress came out of nowhere to gather a nomination for portraying a drug mule who also happens to be pregnant. She is wise beyond her years.

Rita Moreno: win for “West Side Story”

Category: Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Year: 1962

Credit: West Side Story / The Mirisch Corporation

What an energetic Latina goddess! If you haven’t watched this classic musical, do it a la voz de ya!

Gabriel Figueroa: nominated for “The Night of the Iguana”

Category: Best Cinematography

Year: 1965

Credit: The Night of the Iguana / MGM

The veteran Mexican cinematographer shot this John Huston movie and showed everyone why the Golden Era of Mexican cinema had produced such amazing images.

Rodrigo Prieto: nominated for “Brokeback Mountain”

Category: Best Cinematography

Year: 2005

Credit: brokeback-mountain-lg. Digital image. MovieStillsDB

Alongside Guillermo Navarro and Emmanuel Lubezki, Prieto has shown that Mexican cinematographers are a force to be reckoned with. He worked with Ang Lee to produce majestic images of the American West as the backdrop of perhaps the most celebrated mainstream queer romance of all time.

Guillermo Navarro: win for “Pan’s Labyrinth”

Category: Best Cinematography

Year: 2006

Credit: Pan’s Labyrinth / Estudios Picasso, Wild Bunch, Tequila Gang

What an amazing win for Navarro. He had been working in the Mexican film industry for quite some time, but it was his careful rendition of Guillermo Del Toros feverish imagination what got him the coveted statue.

Fernando Meirelles: nominated for “City of God”

Category: Best Director

Year: 2003

Credit: 7AN54PJB6VFS7N6R6KJULBL2RU. Digital image. Los Angeles Times.

Energetic and punchy: “City of God” injected new energy to Brazilian cinema and made Hollywood look at a forgotten national film industry. Meirelles went on to build a fruitful career in Hollywood.

Carlos Saura: nominated for “Tango”

Category: Best Foreign Language Film

Year: 1999

Credit: Tango / Adela Pictures

The most Argentinian film you can think of. Elegant costumes, dramatic plots and dance moves that will make you sweat. With this nomination, Saura established himself as the leading director of his generation.

Claudia Llosa: nominated for “The Milk of Sorrow” (La teta asustada)

Category: Best Foreign Language Film

Year: 2010

Credit: The Milk of Sorrow / Generalitat de Catalunya – Institut Català de les Indústries Culturals (ICIC)

This Peruvian movie deals with the problems and joys of being a Latin American woman. A great film about the new role of Latinas, who are mothers, carers and independent women.

Emmanuel Lubezki: win for “Gravity,” “Birdman,” and “The Revenant.”

Category: Best Cinematography

Years: 2013, 2014, 2015

Credit: Emmanuel-Lubezki-Failing-Mentorless.com_-e1457105662609. Digital image. Mentorless.

After having gone home Oscar-less five times, Lubezki took three in a row. He has worked with the best directors in the world, including Tim Burton, Terrence Malick and obviously Cuarón and González Iñárritu.


READ: ‘Roma’ Leads With Ten Oscar Nominations Including For First Time Actress Yalitza Aparicio

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Lil Nas X’s Next Big Drop Is A Children’s Book Called ‘C Is For Country’

Entertainment

Lil Nas X’s Next Big Drop Is A Children’s Book Called ‘C Is For Country’

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty

Turns out Lil Nas X has more than just country rap up his sleeve. The 21-year-old “Old Town Road” rapper has a penchant for literature too.

On Tuesday, the rapper revealed that he’s written a children’s book called C Is for Country.

“I’m dropping the best kids’ book of all time soon!” the rapper shared in a Tweet earlier this week before adding that he couldn’t “wait to share it” with his fans and young readers.

Nas’s children’s book is being published under Random House Kids, a division of Penguin Random House. It is currently available for preorder on their site.

According to the Random House Kids’ website, the book is a story about Lil Nas X and Panini the pony.

“Join superstar Lil Nas X—who boasts the longest-running #1 song in history—and Panini the pony on a joyous journey through the alphabet from sunup to sundown. Experience wide-open pastures, farm animals, guitar music, cowboy hats, and all things country in this debut picture book that’s perfect for music lovers learning their ABCs and for anyone who loves Nas’s signature genre-blending style,” Random House describes in its explanation.

The book is illustrated by Theodore Taylor III and promises “plenty of hidden surprises for Nas’ biggest fans.”

C Is for County comes out Jan. 5.

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Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

Entertainment

Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

A new teen series has dropped on Netflix that the internet can’t stop talking about. The newest cultural phenomenon that has hit the juggernaut streaming service is a musical series called Julie and the Phantoms, based on the 2011 Brazilian show of the same name.

The series follows a 16-year-old insecure girl named Julie who has lost her love of music after the tragic death of her mother. But with the help of a (stay with us here) band of musical ghosts she stumbles across in her garage, she soon re-discovers her love of singing and performing. Backed by her band of “phantoms”, Julie confidently takes the stage again, blowing everyone away in the process. ,

But the wacky, heartfelt story-line isn’t the only reason people are excited about the show. The buzz around the show is building because its star, 16-year-old newcomer Madison Reyes, is an Afro-Latina singer-actress of Puerto Rican descent.

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Before landing the role of Julie, Reyes was just a regular shmegular Nuyorican girl going to high school in Brooklyn. Needless to say, the process of auditioning for Julie and the Phantoms was both a whirlwind and a game-changer.

“I found out about Julie and the Phantoms through my school. At first I was nervous to send my video in, but after talking to some friends, I sent it in and got a call back,” Reyes told Refinery 29. “From there it was just figuring out when I could fly to L.A. When I finally made it out there, the audition process lasted two days.”

Reyes, for one, understands the burden of her load. “[Julie] is Latin American, she’s got textured hair, she’s a strong and independent female character,” Reyes recently told the LA Times. “As a person of color who wants more diversity [on-screen], I’m kind of scared about the hate comments that I’ve seen other people have to go through, especially women.”

As if having an Afro-Latina actress at the center of a popular Netflix show wasn’t exciting enough, the series is also being helmed by Mexican-American director and all-around legend Kenny Ortega. For those of you unfamiliar with Ortega, he is the creative genius who directed bonafide classics like High School Musical and Hocus Pocus.

Ortega has been publicly effusive in his praise of Reyes. “She has this raw talent that can take on any genre of music, and this promise of greatness that excited everybody,” he told the LA Times. “And yet she’s so relatable and grounded.”

Fans are already calling for a second season after watching the cliffhanger season finale. Reyes, herself, can’t wait to get back in the shoes of Julie. When asked in an interview about where we’ll see her next, she responded: “Hopefully in the next season of Julie and the Phantoms!”. We second that wish.

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