The Imagen Foundation has announced the nominees for the 28th annual Imagen (Spanish for 'image') Awards, honoring Latinos and Latino cultures in television and film.
Best Feature Film nominees include Bless Me Ultima (pictured) based on the controversial novel by Rudolfo Anaya about a boy's coming-of-age under the guidance of curandera, Ultima; Border Run, directed by Gabriela Tagliavini, about a female American reporter searching for her missing brother against the backdrop of violence and human smuggling across the US / Mexican border. Dreamer, directed by Jesse Salmeron, which tells the story of Joe Rodriguez, an hard-working college graduate who is also an undocumented United States resident who struggles with his identity. Directed by Fro Rojas, Tio Papi is the story of a bachelor who is forced to take care of his sister's six children. Final nominee, Trouble in the Heights,directed by Jonathan Ullman a thriller which follows its characters through the predominantly Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights.
Among the nominees for Best Documentary / Film or Television are Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, directed by Pamela Yates. This follow up to 1983's When the Mountains Tremble has become pivotal role in collecting evidence in the genocide case against ex-Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos. Fellow nominee Harvest of Empire directed by Peter Getzels and Eduardo López, reveals the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin American and the immigration crises we face today. Other nominees in this category include Cubamerican directed by José Enrique Pardo, which follows a the stories of Cuban exiles spanning 60 years of Cuban history, Mariachi High, by Ilana Trachtman and Kim Connell, which presents a year in the life of the champion mariachi ensemble at Zapata High School in South Texas.
Precious Knowledge, by Ari Luis Palos and Eren Isabel McGiniss follows the final year of the highly successful but controversial Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School. Also included are We Women Warriors (pictured left), by Nicole Karsin which examines three brave women who use nonviolent resistance to defend their peoples' survival in Columbia and Marc Silver's Who is Dayani Cristal?, where the discovery of an anonymous body in the Arizona Desert sparks the beginning of a real-life human drama.
The nominee for Best National Informational Program, Voces: Tales of Masked Men, which is also nominated for Best Documentary / Film or Television, presents the colorful, fascinating and mysterious world of lucha libre and its endurance for 80 years.
Nominees for Best Actor / Supporting Actor in a Feature Film are E.J. Bonilla (pictured right) for the film Four directed by Joshua Sanchez, David Castro and Joey Dedio for Tio Papi, Luke Ganalon for Bless Me, Ultima, Rayniel Rufino for Trouble in the Heights and Jeremy Ray Valdez for Dreamer.
Nominees for Best Actress / Supporting Actress in a Feature Film are Miriam Colon for Bless Me, Ultima, Veronica Diaz-Carranza for Blaze You Out directed by Mateo Frazier, Eva Mendes for The Place Beyond the Pines, Fatima Ptacek for Tio Papi, Patricia Rae for The Big Wedding, and Elizabeth Rodriguez for Tio Papi.
Films nominated for Best Theatrical Short of Student film are POV: Sin Pais, The Shooting Star Salesman and Viva America.
The Imagen Awards program was established in 1985 from a suggestion by veteran television producer Norman Lear to encourage and recognize the positive portrayals of Latinos in the media. Winners will be selected by an independent panel of entertainment industry executives and Latino community leaders and the ceremony will take place on Friday, August 16th, at the Beverly Hills Hotel International Ballroom. They will be aired on PBS SoCal (time TBA)