For the 85th annual Academy Awards, taking place tonight in Los Angeles, three nominees in three different categories will be representing Latino talent: two from Chile and one from Mexico.
In the Foreign Language Film category, Latin America is represented by the Chilean film No by director Pablo Larraín, starring Mexican actor Gael García Bernal. It is the first time ever that Chile receives an Oscar nomination. Chilean filmmaker Miguel Littín had received two nominations in the Best Foreign Language Film category but for movies entered under other countries: Actas de Marusia / Letters from Marusia (Mexico) in 1975, and Alsino y el cóndor / Alsino and the Condor (Nicaragua) in 1982.
No premiered at Cannes' Directors Fortnight last May where it received the Art Cinema Award, the section's top prize for Best Film. The film opened last week in U.S. theaters to great critical and pipular acclaim. Larraín's film faces the serious challenge from the French production Amour by Austrian director Michael Haneke, a longtime arthouse favorite, which also received nominations in three other categories.
Also from Chile, Director of Photography Claudio Miranda (pictured) is nominated for Best Cinematography for his work on Ang Lee's Life of Pi (also a Best Picture Nominee this year). It is the second time Miranda receives a nomination in this category, he was nominated in 2008 for his work on The Curious Life of Benjamin Button by David Fincher.
Miranda joins a group of six Latin American DPs that have nominated in this category including Mexican Gabriel Figueroa (The Night of the Iguana, 1964); Mexican Emmanuel Lubezki (A Little Princess, 1995, Sleepy Hollow, 1999, The New World, 2005, Children of Men, 2006, and The Tree of Life, 2011); Mexican Rodrigo Prieto (Brokeback Mountain, 2005); Mexican Guillermo Navarro (Pan's Labyrinth, 2006); Uruguayan-Brazilian César Charlone (City of God, 2003); and Spanish-Cuban Néstor Almendros (Days of Heaven, 1978, Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979, The Blue Lagoon, 1980, and Sophie's Choice, 1982). Miranda is the favorite to win this year.
And lastly, José Antonio García from Mexico is part of the three-men group nominated for Best Sound Mixing for his work on Argo. Born in Mexico City, he got started in the film industry as an assistant sound mixer for the film Gaby, a True Story in the late 80s. Since then, he's worked with numerous filmmakers such as Clint Eastwood, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón, Alexander Payne and Terrence Malick. This is his first nomination to the Academy Awards.