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Latin nominees for Oscar gold: What it means to the Golden Empire

Posted at 11:31 AM, Mar 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-27 14:51:50-04

The Golden Empire has their eyes on Oscar gold.

The 94th Annual Academy Awards are Sunday night, and one Oscar nominee, Ariana Debose, highlighted a significant number of nominations with Latin subject matter and nominees of Latin heritage.

“So basically the Oscars are gonna be a spicy & passionate event this year,” Ariana Debose said via Instagram.

With more than half of Kern County identifying as either Hispanic or Latin, according to the u.s. Census, 23ABC’s Kristin Vartan wanted to hear from our very own Latin leaders and educators in town about why they think this recognition important.

“I think it’s great that in Hollywood that we have more representation of the LatinX community, because the reality is that we are the majority in this state,” Co-Founder and Camila Chávez Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation said. “So we should really be reflected, not only on screen, but on decision making tables–our city councils, our board of supervisors, school boards.”

Encanto is Oscar-nominated in four categories: Yvett Merino alongside her colleagues, is up for Best Animated Feature, Germaine Franco for Best Original Score and Lin Manuel Miranda's "Dos Orugüitas” is up for an original song Oscar.

Latin filmmakers dominating the animated feature nominations in general:

Alongside his colleagues, Carlos López estrada for "raya and the last dragon, phil lord for “the mitchells vs. the machines," and hugo covarrubias and Tevo Díaz for Bestia, in the animated short film category.

K.D. Dávila is one of the nominees for please hold in the live action short film category for "Please Hold.” Guillermo del Torro's “Nightmare Alley” is even up for best picture.

Dr. James L. Rodriguez, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and education at CSU Bakersfield said, that those offscreen are just as important in quote “moving the needle” for representation.

“The Oscars provide an opportunity for us to see people who do the work behind the scenes,” Dr. Rodrirguez said. “This is very important, because there is so much work that occurs around diversity, equity and inclusion and our efforts to be more connected with each other”

That’s not the only Latin representation in the category: Best Picture nominee, West Side Story, spotlights the story of Puerto-Rican Americans.

Ariana Debose is up for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of the iconic, “Anita.” She's already dominated award season: taking home a SAG award, BAFTA, Critics Choice Award, and Golden Globe for the role.

Javier Bardem could win his second Oscar for Best Actor Sunday. and in the nomination for best actress, you’ll even find his wife: Spanish actress and Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz for her starring role as Janis in “Parallel Mothers.