Entertainment

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

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“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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Here’s Why Everyone Is Talking About Hulu’s ‘Culture Shock’ A Horror Film That Highlights The Migrant Crisis

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Here’s Why Everyone Is Talking About Hulu’s ‘Culture Shock’ A Horror Film That Highlights The Migrant Crisis

In the most recent installment of Blumhouse’s “Into the Dark” Hulu TV movie anthology series, “Culture Shock”, a story about a Mexican woman who finds herself trapped in a warped American utopia after attempting to cross the border, Blumhouse explores the horrors of the migrant crisis, adding a dose of supernatural to the already chilling situation many migrants are face when striving for a better life. 

“Culture Shock” follows Marisol, played by Mexican actress Martha Higareda, a poor young pregnant woman living in Mexico who dreams of a better life for her and her unborn child.

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“Culture Shock” immediately establishes the harrowing conditions that many immigrants face in their home countries before deciding to emigrate. Indeed, one of “Culture Shock”‘s first scenes shows Marisol being raped by Oscar, a man we had previously been led to believe was her loving boyfriend. Shortly after, we also discover that Oscar stole money she had given him to secure her passage across the border to the U.S. This leaves Martha stranded and alone in her home country of Mexico, and also now carrying the child of the man who assaulted her, which adds even more urgency to her situation.

Marisol bravely decides to attempt the crossing one more time to secure a future for her and her baby, paying a “coyote” hundreds of dollars to help smuggle her into the U.S. The journey isn’t an easy one–at nearly every stop on the way to America, Marisol is strong-armed into giving every new handler additional money–money that she wasn’t told about before. If nothing, “Culture Shock” gives a realistic, if infuriating,  portrayal of all of the injustice desperate migrants are subjected to while trying to cross the border. And the danger is steeper than ever for Marisol, a single woman who is also pregnant. The threat of sexual violence on Marisol’s body is constant, and what’s more disturbing is how habituated to sexual and other forms of violence she seems to be. It’s just another subtle nod towards her complicated and traumatic history.

After being caught at the U.S. border, Marisol wakes up in a pastel-colored paradise that embodies the American dream in every aspect: the residents are beaming, the food is delicious and abundant, and the pervading sense of peace and harmony of the so-called town of “Cape Joy” easily lulls Marisol into an immediate sense of security. It’s here that the director, Latina auteur Gigi Saul Guerrero, begins to flex her artistic muscles. The cinematography is disorienting, with off-center and odd-angled close-ups, quick cutaways that mimic Marisol’s constant confusion, and a visual stark contrast between Marisol’s old, dreary life in Mexico and her new, vibrant life in Cape Joy, USA.  

But something isn’t right in Cape Joy.

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Not only does Marisol have no recent memories of what happened to her after being caught by US Border Patrol, but the fellow immigrants she crossed over with have no idea who she is. And while Marisol mysteriously gave birth to her baby while she was presumably unconscious, she’s never allowed to hold her. When Marisol expresses concern to her host mother, Betty (Barbara Crampton) about her missing old belongings, Betty tells her: “Don’t worry about what you’ve lost. Think instead of all that you’ve gained.” It’s lines like this, which are obviously meant to convey more than just the literal meaning of the words, that the movie leans hard into.

Throughout “Into the Dark”, there is an underlying current of not-so-subtle political messaging that makes it obvious that this movie isn’t your typical straight-forward horror film. It’s as much a vehicle for social commentary and critique on the migrant crisis and America’s inhumane treatment of migrants at the border as it is about delivering stomach-churning gore and jump scares. The movie, directed by,  confirms the existential fear many migrants have of looked at as sub-human when they try to cross the border. Sometimes, the social commentary comes off as a little too on-the-nose, with Big-Bads saying things such as: “Nobody gives a fuck about these people,” and “We’re not paid to give [them] the American Dream. We’re paid to keep them out of it”. 

When the mystery behind the oddness of Cape Joy is finally revealed, the element of sci-fi and horror that’s added to Marisol’s story can almost feel like a relief, purely due to its obvious fictional tropes. The more terrifying parts of the movie–the abusive boyfriends, the violent men, the human traffickers, and the Mexican cartel–are arguably more frightening than the supernatural parts.

And lest, while watching, you trick yourself into thinking the movie isn’t really a horror movie, prepare yourself for a few jarring scenes.

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The climax of the movie is an extremely gruesome and violently gory climax that establishes the anthology installment as exactly what it markets itself as: a horror movie. But as we’ve seen in headlines that flood the TV, the newspapers, and our phones, sometimes, reality can be more horrifying than fiction. 

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

selenagomez / Instagram

Selena Marie Gomez (born in Texas in 1992) has been in the public eye for as long as she can remember. She has been a role model for young girls as a singer and an actress and now is involved in more risqué films such as Spring Breakers, a delirious film by indie filmmaker Harmony Korine. Besides having a strong onscreen persona, Gomez has been in relationships with the likes of Justin Bieber, which of course turned the paparazzi attention and cameras to her. Suddenly, when she was barely a teenager her every move was being followed. Her life was sort of predestined to be great when she was named after the great late Selena Quintanilla. However, she has had to deal with divorce (her parents separated when she was five-years-old) and with weak health, as she was diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease, which ultimately forced her to get a kidney transplant. She found strength in her mom. Gomez has said that her mother “was really strong around me. Having me at 16 had to have been a big responsibility. She gave up everything for me, had three jobs, supported me, sacrificed her life for me.” That must provide so much strength for a woman of barely 26 but who has gone through more in her lifetime than many 50-year-olds.

This must not be easy for anyone, even more so for a Latino woman. Gomez knows that she has a microphone and that she can get to other girls and women. “The older I get, the prouder I am to be a woman in the industry. When I was younger and running around all the time on tour, I don’t think I took the time to notice how being a woman in my position is really a gift. I want to make sure I utilize all that power,” the young Latina star told Into the GlossShe has used this position of privilege to raise awareness on mental health issues, including suicide prevention, both as a celebrity and as a producer. She is also a supporter of associations such as Make A Wish (which grants children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions), the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. 

Selena Gomez fights for friendships above anything else: girl power.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez values friendship and spreads the word. She has such loyal friends that one even donated a kidney when Gomez needed a transplant. She says: “People are put into your life for seasons, for different reasons, and to teach you lessons”: Selena, we couldn’t agree more.

She gets politically enraged when it matters.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez knows that a lot of mental health issues concerning young women are related to the policing of their sexuality and reproductive rights. She gets political when she feels the need to, particularly with issues concerning the mental health and general wellbeing of young women like herself. 

She asks her fans to be strong, but to also look for help when needed.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Her advice: “I’ve learned there’s power deep down inside yourself, and you can find it when you don’t give up on yourself and when you ask for help.” This is so real it hurts: even someone like her, who in the eyes of her fans might seem to have it all, needs to be humble and honest in reaching out to others when the world seems bleak. There is always someone who cares if you are OK. 

She stands up for migrants.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez doesn’t get political often, but when she does she always stands up for the minority communities. She has been a vocal advocate for migrant rights and the rights of women. She even wore a 1973 necklace as one of very few Latina celebs speaking up for abortion rights.

She even takes a stand from DACA recipients and Dreamers.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

She has used her social media accounts, which have followers in the millions, to call her fans to action. She is clearly showing the world that she does care and she is paying attention. 

She delivers a message of self-acceptance, which led her to produce 13 Reasons Why.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez’s mother, Amanda, had her when she was just 16, and then raised her by herself. She was also the one that gave Gomez the book on which the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why is based. The show was controversial because it spoke about mental health issues and suicide, topics that are fundamental to discuss with young vulnerable populations but that remain a taboo. However, Gomez’s message is optimistic. She has said: “I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful.” Preach! 

13 Reasons Why put mental health issues at the forefront of public media debate.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

“I get it all day, every day, that I’m not sexy enough, or I’m not cool enough, or if I did this I would be accepted… I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful. Please don’t forget that, even when it gets hard,” she said in an interview for the Huffington PostAnd this is exactly the message that she conveys in her project. Taking on Jay Asher’s literary world, she and the series creative team were able to show mental health and suicide from all possible angles. 

She takes fame with a grain of salt.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

She has been famous for a big portion of her life, but she knows that todo es pasajero, and that at the end who you are does not depend merely on adulation: “You are not defined by an Instagram photo, by a ‘Like,’ by a comment. That does not define you.”

Body positivity is her mantra.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

“I feel very empowered and confident and comfortable with where I am. And I think it took me a long time to get there because, you know, the past year was so interesting because I’ve never been body-shamed before… I did gain weight, but I don’t care,” she said at On Air with Ryan SeacrestThis is a great, positive message for someone who is followed by millions of young women throughout the world, particularly in a day and age when standards of beauty are twisted and self-love is hard to achieve. 

She is an active advocate of girl power.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Perhaps following the example of her mother, who basically raised her alone while holding down as many jobs as necessary to make ends meet, Gomez says: “I don’t want to become little or hurt or a victim. I want to be strong for girls…I just want them to know that there is an option of standing up for yourself.” Additionally, she was named a United Nations Ambassador in 2009, and in this role, she has worked particularly in empowering vulnerable children by helping provide clean water, education, and medical services. 

You learn from your mistakes.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Perhaps most importantly, she knows that many see her as a role model and that this brings a huge deal of responsibility. “I’m human, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes all the time, but I guess my job is to keep those mistakes to myself, which I’m already fine doing and just try to be the best I can be for those kids,” she told E! Online.

READ: “13 Reasons Why” Does Much More Than Glorify Suicide, Selena Gomez Explained

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