Friday, December 8, 2023

Eva Longoria's 'Flamin' Hot' Swept the Imagen Awards 2023

 By José Alberto Hermosillo 

"Flamin' Hot" won Best Picture, Best Director & Best Actor, Imagen Awards 2023.  Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo. Copyright © Festival in LA, 2023
“Flamin’ Hot” won Best Picture, Best Director & Best Actor, Imagen Awards.
Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo. Copyright © Festival in LA, 2023

Sunday, December 3rd, 2023. Los Angeles, California. The Latino Star-Power flexed its muscles, recognizing the best of in movies and television of 2023. The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown was the iconic scenario for the Imagen Awards ceremony presented by The Imagen Foundation. The same historic ballroom of the hotel was the official site of the Oscars, which were celebrated from 1931 to 1942.
Year by year, it is more important to have Latino representation in the Hollywood industry. While Latinos represent one-third of ticket buyers at the box office, the Latinx presence in films and television is less than three percent. Hispanics became the nineteenth percent of the population in the United States, and those numbers are not reflected on the big screen.
On that joyous morning, Eva Longoria’s film “Flamin’ Hot” took home three of the top Imagen Awards, Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Jesse Garcia (“Quinceañera,” “Ambulance,” “Narcos, Mexico”).


Jesse Garcia wins Best Actor for “Flamin’ Hot.” Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo. Copyright © Festival in LA, 2023

Renowned journalist Maria Hinojosa took the Best Documentary award for “After Uvalde: Guns, Grief & Texas.”

Maria Hinojosa - Best Documentary –After Uvalde: Guns, Grief & Texas Politics. Photo José Alberto Hermosillo FestivalinLA ©2023.

On the TV series section, Netflix won with the Mexican cops’ drama “Belascoarán P.I.” and tied in with “National Treasure: Edge of History.” 

In Comedy, “Acapulco” took Best Primetime Program, Best Actor Enrique Arrizon, and by the way, the winners forgot to mention the struggles the people of Acapulco are living through now due to the devastating Hurricane Otis back in October. We must be grateful and show solidarity with the people of the places we work as Mel Gibson went back to Veracruz a year after shooting “Apocalypto” and donated a million dollars for the reconstruction of the city destroyed by Hurricane Stan back in 2005.

Best Primetime Program – Comedy: Acapulco. Photo José Alberto Hermosillo, FestivalinLA, ©2023

The nominated films with Latinx presence range from independent projects to big box-office hits like “Avatar: The Way of Water,” with Zoe Saldaña, “Scream VI” with Jenna Ortega and Melisa Barrera, “Blue Beetle” with Xolo Marigueña (“Cobra Kai” & “Parenthood”) and Becky G (“Power Rangers” & “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “Plane” with Daniela Pineda, “Mother” and “Shotgun Wedding” with Jennifer Lopez, and “Magic Mike, Last Dance” with Salma Hayek and Carmen Olivares.


Talking about inclusion, other remarkable films overlooked by the Imagen Awards or were not submitted for consideration were “A Million Milles Away” with Michael Peña, the biggest box-office hit in Mexican history “Radical” with Eugenio Derbez, and the independent Summer conservative blockbuster “The Sound of Freedom” directed by Alejandro Monteverde.

“Flamin’ Hot” won Best Picture, Best Director & Best Actor, Imagen Awards
Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo. Copyright © Festival in LA, 2023

The Sunday brunch provided by the Imagen Foundation in the company of so many Latin stars was a total success. The Speeches by the President and Founder Helen Hernandez, actor and producer Edward James Olmos, Eva Longoria, and Jesse Garcia were inspiring. 

During the Imagen Awards Ceremony, everyone talked about the power of giving a “Green Light” to all the dreams and stories to be told by the Latino community, and that will empower and provide more opportunities to the Latinos in Hollywood. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners.

The Winners of The Imagen Awards 2023


Best Feature Film: Flamin’ Hot 
Best Director – Feature Film: Eva Longoria, Flamin’ Hot
Best Actor – Feature Film: Jesse Garcia, Flamin’ Hot
Best Actress – Feature Film: Zoe Saldaña, Avatar: The Way of Water
Best Animated Feature Film: Puss In Boots: The Last Wish
Best Voice-Over Actor – Feature Film: 
Antonio Banderas, Puss In Boots: The Last Wish 
Best Music Composition for Film or Television: Gustavo Santaolalla, The Last of Us
Best Primetime Program – Drama – TIE: 
Belascoarán & 
National Treasure: Edge of History.
Best Primetime Program – Comedy: Acapulco
Best Primetime Program – Special or Movie: Dear… Selena Gomez
Best Director (Television): 
Guillermo Navarro, Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.
Best Actor – Drama (Television): Pedro Pascal, The Last of Us
Best Actress – Drama (Television): Kate Del Castillo, Volver a caer.
Best Actor – Comedy (Television): Enrique Arrizon, Acapulco.
Best Actress – Comedy (Television): Jenna Ortega, Wednesday.
Best Supporting Actor – Drama (Television): Benjamin Levy Aguilar, Chicago P.D.
Best Supporting Actress – Drama (Television): Aubrey Plaza, The White Lotus
Best Supporting Actor – Comedy (Television): Benjamin Bratt, Poker Face
Best Supporting Actress – Comedy (Television): Liza Colón-Zayas, The Bear
Best Young Actor (Television): Ava Louise Murchison, Jane
Best Voice-Over Actor (Television): Ruben Garfias, The Casagrandes.
Best Variety or Reality Show: The Reluctant Traveler With Eugene Levy.
Best Youth Programming: Alma’s Way.
Best Documentary – TIE: After Uvalde: Guns, Grief & Texas Politics, and Halftime.
Best Informational Program: ABC News, Uvalde 365: The Struggle to Understand.
Best Short/Student Film: The Ballad of Tita and the Machines.
Best Commercial Advertisement or Social Awareness Campaign
Mujeres Imparables 2023: Change The Game (“Cambia el juego”).

Nominee Actors “This Fool” for Best Primetime Program Comedy Series. 
Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo. 
Copyright © Festival in LA, 2023

Film critic José Alberto Hermosillo, Nominee actress Julia Vera {“This Fool’) & her great-grandson Brolach.
Copyright © Festival in LA, 2023

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