‘THE LONGORIA AFFIAR’ WINS TOP HONOR AT IMAGEN AWARDS
by Lola Rodriguez Rodriguez
Last night at a black tie dinner some five hundred guests convened at the historic Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills to honor the country’s most talented Latino film and television artists, both in front of and behind the camera. The occasion was the 26th annual Imagen Awards, created by legendary writer and television producer Norman Lear and Imagen Foundation founder Helen Hernandez. The Imagen Awards are both a glamorous and serious affair to honor positive, nuanced and powerful portrayals of the Latino experience in film and television.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, the first Latina in American history to hold that post flew in from Washington D.C. to attend. PBS president Paula Kerger, Vice President for Diversity and Innovation at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Joseph Tovares and actor Tony Plana who narrated The Longoria Affair all cleared their schedules in order to attend.
The best part of the evening came near the end when the nominees for Best Documentary on Film or Television were announced. As the titles of the films in competition were read: Sins of my Father(Red Creek Productions), The Fence/La Barda (HBO), The New America (mun2). The Longoria Affair (PBS), Monica and David (HBO)”, actor and Chairman of Latino Public Broadcasting, Edward James Olmos could be seen; eyes closed and fists clenched repeating to himself, “Longoria, Longoria, Longoria….”
Then, from the podium came the words, “And the winner is…The Longoria Affair”, the entire ballroom shook with applause and gritos. As Director John J. Valadez and Co-Producer Pamela A. Aguilar took the stage amid a cacophony of claps and hoots, there came a lone voice above it all. It was impossible to tell where it came from but the words were clear and distinct and unmistakable: “Viva Hector Garcia!” Other voices echoed “Viva!” in response. Everything after that was a timeless and exquisite blur…