WINNERS OF 26TH ANNUAL IMAGEN AWARDS ANNOUNCED HONORING LATINOS IN ENTERTAINMENT
Latino Public Broadcasting Received the Norman Lear Award and John Valadez’ ‘The Longoria Affair’ Won Best Documentary
Winners of the 26th Annual Imagen (Spanish for “image”) Awards, honoring positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino
culture in entertainment, were announced on Friday, August 12th at a star-studded dinner ceremony held in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The awards, hosted by actress Maria Canals-Barrera, star of Disney Channel’s Emmy-winning “Wizards of Waverly Place,” were handed out in front of an audience of approximately five hundred attendees representing the entertainment industry and Latino community. Among celebrities in attendance were Edward James Olmos, Kenny Ortega, Esai Morales, Mark Ballas, Cote de Pablo, Eva La Rue, Lupe Ontiveros, Victoria Justice, Alexa Vega, among others. Also in attendance were U.S. Secretary of Labor and former local congresswoman, Hilda L. Solis, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.
Helen Hernandez, president of The Imagen Foundation, said: “We are proud of all the accomplishments that Latinos have achieved thus far throughout all facets of the entertainment industry; however, we must strive for continued progress of inclusion, particularly in decision-making and creative roles throughout the industry. I would like to personally thank all our corporate sponsors as well as Latino community leaders for their continued support of The Imagen Foundation and our mission.”
Winners were selected in 19 different categories from film, television and the internet, and judged by an independent panel of entertainment industry executives and Latino community leaders. Special recognition went to Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), who received the Norman Lear Award, named for the veteran television producer who conceived the Imagen Awards program. LPB Co-Founders Edward James Olmos, Marlene Dermer and LPB Executive Director Sandie Pedlow received the award on behalf of Latino Public Broadcasting. Walt Disney “Imagineer” Alfredo M. Ayala, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
John Valadez’ THE LONGORIA AFFAIR won Best Documentary/Film or Television. THE LONGORIA AFFAIR tells the story of Private Felix Longoria who was killed in battle fighting the Japanese during World War II. But when his body was sent home to Three Rivers, Texas, the town’s only funeral parlor refused to allow his family to use their chapel because “the whites wouldn’t like it.” The incident sparked national outrage and brought together two savvy political leaders, Senator Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Hector Garcia. Their complex, sometimes contentious relationship would help Latinos become a national political force for the first time in American history. The Longoria Affair would also propel John Kennedy to the White House, and lead President Johnson to sign the most important civil rights legislation of the twentieth century.
THE LONGORIA AFFAIR is a co-production of John J. Valadez, WGBH/Boston, and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, and the Houston Endowment.
For a complete list of the Imagen Awards winners, please visit the Imagen Foundation website here.