Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Chasing the Gold: The 2022 Oscar Nominations Using Only Latin American and Latinx Talent

The American film industry is just starting to open up to Latin American and Latinx voices, but there’s a long (very long) way to go in terms of representation. As undenying proof of how little the industry cares about our voices, we have the 2022 Oscar nominations.

Despite the existence of a rich field of Latin American and Latinx narratives this past year, we find ourselves yet again underrepresented in the “big” American award ceremony. This year, the only Latin American stories, performances, and crafts vying for an Academy Award are Ariana DeBose for West Side Story (a film that fails to depict Latinx culture in the progressive light it thinks it does), Guillermo del Toro for Nightmare Alley, Carlos López Estrada por Raya and the Last Dragon, Lin-Manuel Miranda for Encanto’s “Dos Oruguitas”,  Germaine Franco for Encanto’s Original Score, Hugo Covarrubias for Bestia, and KD Dávila for Please Hold. Most of them are American productions. 

To make matters worse, the Academy decided to nominate a Spanish actor playing the role of legendary Cuban-American performer Desi Arnaz; they nominated a performance that uses brown face in 2021. Absolutely embarrassing. This is how little the industry cares about Latin voices.

To show how much quality Latin America filmmaking has to offer, I’ve created a “Oscar nominations” list with only Latin American films in contention, as well as films directed by US Latinx filmmakers or centered around Latinx narratives. Many of these films were official submissions or shortlisted as International Feature selections, and others opened in their respective countries (or, in the case of Netflix releases, worldwide) in 2021. This is just a sample out of films I managed to watch and I’m sure there’s more quality waiting to be discovered.

I don’t know for certain if all of these would have complied with the Academy’s rules to quality, but that’s not the point. I’m doing this little exercise to shine a light on the outstanding work of Latin American cinema and the invaluable stories they are sharing to the world. I hope you can use this article as a guide of high quality films to watch in the near future.

Best Picture

7 Prisoners /  7 Prisioneiros (Brazil)

Azor (Argentina)

The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet / El perro que no calla (Argentina)

Ghosting Gloria / Muerto con Gloria (Uruguay)

Identifying Features / Sin señas particulares (México)

Memoria (Colombia)

My Brothers Dream Awake / Mis hermanos sueñan despiertos (Chile)

Nothing but the Sun / Apenas el sol (Paraguay)

Prayers for the Stolen / Noche de fuego (México)

Private Desert / Deserto Particular (Brazil)

Best Documentary 

A Cop Movie / Una película de policías

The Last Forest / A Última Floresta

Nothing But the Sun / Apenas el sol

Stateless / Apátrida

Things We Dare Not Do / Cosas que no hacemos

Best Direction

Alexandre Moratto – 7 Prisoners /  7 Prisioneiros

Aly Muritiba – Private Desert / Deserto Particular

Ana Katz – The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet / El perro que no calla

Fernanda Valadez – Identifying Features / Sin señas particulares

Tatiana Huezo – Prayers for the Stolen / Noche de fuego

Best Actor

Alfonso Herrera – Dance of the 41 / El baile de los 41

Antônio Pitanga – Memory House / Casa de Antiguidades

Antonio Saboia – Private Desert / Deserto Particular

Christian Malheiros – 7 Prisoners / 7 Prisioneiros

Mauricio Di Yorio – The Perfect David / El perfecto David

Best Actress 

Érica Rivas – The Intruder / El prófugo

Ilse Salas – Plaza Catedral

Mercedes Hernández – Identifying Features / Sin señas particulares

Stefania Tortorella – Ghosting Gloria / Muerto con Gloria

Wendy Chinchilla Araya – Clara Sola

Best Supporting Actor

Colman Domingo – Zola

Fabián Corres – Summer White / Blanco de verano

Lázaro Gabino Rodríguez – Fauna

Nahuel Pérez Biscayart – The Intruder / El prófugo

Rodrigo Santoro – 7 Prisoners

Best Supporting Actress

Mayra Batalla – Prayers for the Stolen / Noche de fuego

Nenan Pelenur – Ghosting Gloria / Muerto con Gloria

Olga Merediz – In the Heights

Paulina García – My Brothers Dream Awake / Mis hermanos sueñan despiertos

Umbra Colombo – The Perfect David / El perfecto David

Best Original Screenplay

King Car – Sergio Oliveira, Renata Pinheiro, Leo Pyrata

Fauna – Nicolás Pereda

Language Lessons – Natalie Morales, Mark Duplass

Private Desert – Aly Muritiba, Henrique Dos Santos

The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet – Ana Katz, Gonzalo Delgado

Best Adapted Screenplay

On The Third Day – Alberto Fasce, Gonzalo Ventura

Fever Dream – Claudia Llosa, Samanta Schweblin

In the Heights – Quiara Alegría Hudes

Prayers for the Stolen – Tatiana Huezo

Best Animated Feature

Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon

Encanto

Tundama

Vivo

Best Cinematography

The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet / El perro que no calla

Identifying Features / Sin señas particulares

Memory House / Casa de Antiguidades

Private Desert / Deserto Particular

White on White / Blanco en blanco

Best Original Score

Dance of the 41 – Carlo Ayhillón, Andrea Balency-Béarn

The Dog Who Would Be Quiet – Javier Abinet

Ghosting Gloria – Carlos Villavicencio

Nine Days – Antônio Pinto

The Perfect David – Ezequiel Flehner

Best Original Song

Detras del Miedo – Muerto con Gloria

Hablo de… – Language Lessons

Home All Summer – In the Heights

Inside Your Heart – Vivo

Colombia, Mi Encanto – Encanto

Best Editing

7 Prisoners / 7 Prisioneiros

A Cop Movie / Una película de policías

Azor

Identifying Features / Sin señas particulares

The Pink Cloud / A Nuvem Rosa

Best Production Design

7 Prisoners / 7 Prisioneiros

King Car / Carro Rei

Dance of the 41 / El baile de los 41

Memory House / Casa de Antiguidades

White on White / Blanco en blanco

Best Costume Design

Dance of the 41 / El baile de los 41

In the Heights

Memory House / Casa de Antiguidades 

Tragic Jungle / Selva trágica

White on White / Blanco en blanco

Best Sound

On The Third Day / Al tercer día

King Car / Carro Rei

Memoria

Noche de fuego / Prayers for the Stolen

Blanco en blanco / White on White

Best Visual Effects

In the Heights

Ghosting Gloria / Muerto con Gloria

King Car / Carro Rei

Memoria

Prayers for the Stolen / Noche de fuego

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Al tercer día / On The Third Day

Dance of the 41 / El baile de los 41

Private Desert / Deserto Particular

Prayers for the Stolen / Noche de fuego

White on White / Blanco en blanco

Best Live Action Short

A Terra Em que Pisar

Bisho

El sueño más largo que recuerdo

Please Hold

Seiva Bruta

Best Documentary Short

Águilas

Elena 

Lupita

The Facility

Zunzuncito 

Best Animated Short

Bestia

La Bestia

Los Huesos

The Boy & the Mountain

Nuevo Rico

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