The nominees for this year's Imagen Awards were announced earlier this week, and I am very happy that two films I participated in have been honored with nominations. Alfredo de Villa's heartfelt documentary Harlistas: An American Journey, and the gritty, Hip Hop drama Filly Brown were both projects I felt a personal connection to, and I quite figuratively put my heart and soul into both projects.
Filly's directors Michael Olmos and Youssef Delara have also received nominations in the Best Director category, and the film's stars Gina Rodriguez and Lou Diamond Phillips have also been bestowed nominations for Best Actress and Best Actor in a Feature Film, respectively.
For many years, the Imagen Foundation has worked diligently to promote positive images of Latinos on television, film and in other media, and though they've come quite a long way in their amazing efforts, there is still much to do with regards to bringing Latino talent and stories into the Hollywood forefront (or at least onto a solid-enough, more marketable playing ground). Honoring the Latino projects that are currently being distributed or aired is a wonderful way to celebrate the filmmaking effort and empower our Latino filmmakers to become weighted contenders at the bargaining table. Arming our strong talent with trophies and nominations can only be a positive thing, as in doing so, we hopefully continue to inspire and motivate our filmmakers to reach for the stars.
I wish nothing but great luck to all the Imagen nominees, and especially to my friends who have worked so hard to make a difference. I look forward to celebrating with you in August. Blessings!