Latinos at the Oscars Recap


The 85th edition of the Academy Awards didn't offer major surprises for the nominated Latino talent. The only Latin American Oscar winner of the evening was Chilean cinematographer Claudio Miranda (pictured) who won the statue for Best Cinematography for his work on Ang Lee's Life of Pi. As TropicalFRONT had previously informed, Miranda becomes the third Latin American cinematographer to win this award after Spanish-Cuban Néstor Almendros in 1978 and Mexican Guillermo Navarro in 2006.

The other Chilean contender, the film No by Pablo Larraín was not able to upset favorite nominee Austrian film Amour by Michael Haneke which, as largely predicted, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The last time a Latin American film won the Oscar in this category was Argentina's El secreto en sus ojos / The Secret in Their Eyes in 2009.

In a curious coincidence, the two documentary films (feature length and short) that won Oscars last night were about Mexican-American subjects: Searching for Sugar Man and Inocente. The Swedish/British co-production Searching for Sugar Man by Malik Bendjelloul tells the incredible story of Detroit-based Mexican-American singer/songwriter named Sixto Rodriguez, a '60s folk singer who unknowingly became an anti-apartheid icon in South Africa.

Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine's documentary short Inocente focuses on the story of Inocente Izúcar Galicia (pictured right), who was undocumented and homeless in San Diego and was able to overcome her conditions with the support of an arts program.

And what it seemed a major oversight was the Academy's snub of Latina actress Lupe Ontiveros in the In Memoriam section of the show. Ontiveros, who performed in numerous American films, died last July at the age of 69.