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In just a few days, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be recognizing many folks in the movie making business for their films. America Ferrera has earned her first Oscar nomination for her supporting role in Barbie, while Colman Domingo has become the first Afro-Latino nominated for his performance as civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. 

But unfortunately, representation of Latinos and Latinas on the big screen has remained stagnant. Just 5.5% of speaking characters in Hollywood movies are Latino or Latina. That’s despite the fact that Latinos make up 19% of the U.S. population and have a buying power of $3.4 trillion. 

That said, there are many Latinos and Latin Americans in different roles who are nominated for Oscars and you may not have heard about yet. 

Read the episode transcript here.

 

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A post shared by Roberto Canessa (@robertojcanessa)

In this episode, Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa has conversations with many of the voices key to films competing for an award. She spoke with Roberto Canessa, who survived the Andes plane crash at the center of “Society of the Snow,” and Matias Recalt, the actor who interprets him in the film. The movie has been nominated for Best International Feature film and best makeup and hairstyling. 

The three of them discussed the harrowing challenges that came with that 1972 plane crash in the Andes and how accurately Recalt and the film “Society of the Snow” reflected Canessa’s story and that of other survivors. 

Director Maite Alberdi (Photo courtesy of Maite Alberdi)

We also hear from Maite Alberdi, whose film “The Eternal Memory” is nominated for Best Documentary Feature film, and Phil Lord, whose movie “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.

Alberdi tells us about why she decided to make a love story of a prominent Chilean couple coping with Alzheimer’s disease and how she was able to find a throughline for that story. 

And to close out the episode, Lord discusses everything, from his Latinidad to why the story of an Afro-Latino teen as Spider-Man resonates with audiences. Finally, Lord reflects on the difficulties that still exist in Hollywood to get these kinds of stories made. 

 

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Editorial Note: This interview was recorded in early February.

Featured collage by Luis Luna. 

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