The Imagen Foundation has announced the nominees for the 28th Annual Imagen (Spanish for “image”) Awards, honoring portrayals of Latinos and Latino cultures in television and film. The awards will be presented at a gala black-tie dinner on Friday evening, August 16th, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroom. The Imagen Awards will air as a one hour special onPBS SoCal. Winners will be selected by an independent panel of entertainment industry executives and Latino community leaders and announced at the awards gala.
We proudly announce that five LPB funded programs and the LPB series VOCES on PBS have been nominated for the Imagen Awards. Congratulations to all the producers! For the full list of nominations, please visit the Imagen Foundation website.
Nominated for Best Documentary/Film or Television
GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR
Producer: Paco de Onis; Director: Pamela Yates
GRANITO is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala’s past, and how a documentary film intertwined with a nation’s turbulent history emerges as an active player in the present. In GRANITO our characters sift for clues buried in archives of mind and place and historical memory, seeking to uncover a narrative that could unlock the past and settle matters of life and death in the present. Each of the five main characters whose destinies collide in GRANITO are connected by the Guatemala of 1982, then engulfed in a war where a genocidal “scorched earth” campaign by the military exterminated nearly 200,000 Maya people. Now, as if a watchful Maya god were weaving back together threads of a story unraveled by the passage of time, forgotten by most, our characters become integral to the overarching narrative of wrongs done and justice sought that they have pieced together, each adding their granito, their tiny grain of sand, to the epic tale.
Co-Producer: Kelly Sheehan
Director/Editor: Kim Connell
Beginning with the beguiling awkwardness of high-stakes band auditions, through annual events like the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, and up to prom, graduation and a summer quinceanera,Mariachi High captures a year in the life of top-ranked student musicians in “Mariachi Halcon,” the varsity-level championship ensemble at Zapata High School on the border of South Texas. The film follows the students as they move from school to stage in competitions that are fierce battlegrounds filled with the flash and fire of musical virtuosity and traje de charro dress, from intimate scenes with family at home to auctioning their hand raised cattle at the annual Zapata County Fair.
TALES OF MASKED MEN
Director: Carlos Avila
Thought you knew everything about Lucha Libre? Think again. This dynamic and informative history of Mexican Wrestling goes beyond the kitsch and reveals the countless and meaningful ways in which the sport represents the essence of Mexican culture. Through interviews with wresters, fans, journalists, and hard-core aficionados, as well as amazing footage of colorful fights from Mexico City to Los Angeles, Tales of Masked Men constantly delights as it informs and entertains. From the award-winning director of the acclaimed PBS series “Foto-Novelas.”
Director: Ari Luis Palos
Producer: Eren Isabel McGinnis
PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE illustrates what motivates Tucson High School students and teachers to form the front line of an epic civil rights battle. While 48 percent of Mexican American students currently drop out of high school, Tucson High’s Mexican American Studies Program has become a national model of educational success, with 93 percent of enrolled students graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to attend college. However, Arizona lawmakers are shutting the program down because they believe the students are being indoctrinated with dangerous ideology and embracing destructive ethnic chauvinism.
Nominated for Best National Informational Program
AMERICA REFRAMED: NEW MUSLIM COOL
Producer: Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
This award-winning documentary follows Muslim Puerto Rican rapper Hamza Pérez on his spiritual journey through the streets, projects and jail cells of urban America. After moving to Pittsburgh’s tough North Side to found a new religious community, rebuild his shattered family, and take his message of faith to young people through his music, Pérez’s mosque is raided by the FBI, challenging him to confront the realities of the post-9/11 world and to make new connections with Christian and Jewish communities.
America ReFramed showcases films that will give viewers a “snapshot” of the transforming American life —the guts, the glory, the grit of a new and changing America. From contemporary life on Native American reservations to stories of recovery on the Gulf, from hardships and revitalization in towns big and small, to stories from city streets across the country, these independent, personal and opinionated films document the times in which we live.
VOCES on PBS: TALES OF MASKED MEN
TALES OF MASKED MEN Director: Carlos Avila
Series Executive Producer: Sandie Pedlow
Series Producer: Luis Ortiz
The first of four documentaries TALES OF MASKED MEN looks at “lucha libre” and its role in Latino communities in the United States and Mexico. Part circus and part athletic contest, the sport — famous for its masked wrestlers — provides a sense of “home” for new immigrants in the United States. It also continues to expand and build on its unique cultural tradition in countries where it enjoys enduring popularity
The four-part series VOCES showcases Latino artists, athletes and performers who reflect their culture while defying all expectations. From the housing projects of Brooklyn to a Mexican wrestling ring, from the ranches of California to the crumbling beauty of Castro’s Cuba, the programs shine a light on the unexpected.