What's it like being invited to join the film academy? These Latinos tell us

?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcalifornia times brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com%2F97%2F9a%2Ffaa35ac349ffacb4fc451b81def9%2Fde los academy latino copy

Kate del Castillo, 52, didn’t let weak cellphone reception get in the way of celebrating her invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“I’m shooting in the middle of nowhere with a terrible signal,” Del Castillo said on Wednesday via text. “I’m humbled by this invitation and also very aware of this huge responsibility. I’ll do my best to honor the academy and its members by being honest and fair.”

Known for her work in films like “Under the Same Moon” and the TV narcocrime drama “La Reina del Sur,” the Mexican-born actress is among the 487 artists and executives invited to join the academy on Tuesday. Of these, 41 are Latino, less than 10%.

Fellow actors such as Jessica Alba, Stephanie Beatriz and Alfredo Castro also were selected. Other notable Latino inductees include Linda Yvette Chávez, writer of “Flamin’ Hot”; casting director Alejandro Reza; and Kyle Patrick Alvarez, who directed “The Stanford Prison Experiment.”

The invitation includes entry under one of the 19 categorized professions in the film industry, titles that include producers, editors, costume designers and cinematographers. Academy members have a say in who gets the next batch of Oscars through voting.

Angel Manuel Soto, director of “Blue Beetle,” the first live-action superhero movie with a Latino lead, also got an invitation.

“I am full of gratitude and humbled to be invited to be a part of such a prestigious membership,” the director said. “I have grown to respect and admire [many artists], while also having the opportunity of making sure that Latinos and Boricuas from all over the world are well represented within the organization.”

According to USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative, just 1.8% of nominees and 2% of winners have been Latino since the first Oscars were handed out in 1929.

Alex Rivera, director of “The Infiltrators” and “Sleep Dealer,” says he has a “split [point of view]” surrounding his invitation.

“On one side, there’s the simple joy of some progress. It’s a delight to see so many Latinos join the academy this year. But the crisis of Latino under-representation in film is so profound, and we’re so far from the large-scale, diverse and deep cinema our community deserves,” said Rivera. “There’s a lot of work ahead. I’m honored to join the academy with so many other incredible artists to build and organize with.”

Alma Martinez, veteran actor and member of the academy since 2016, credits former AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs for the influx of people of color and international perspectives to the organization.

“It’s part of that expansive vision of the membership,” said the “Zoot Suit” actor. “I always compare the academy to the World Series — how can it be for the world if it’s only the United States? How can you claim to be the most prestigious film academy in the world when it’s closed off?”

The debate for more diversity and inclusion can be traced back to 2015, when writer April Reign began the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, which resulted in a boycott of the awards show. Despite a slight uptick in nominations and wins for underrepresented groups in recent years, the academy and the Oscars last yearare still predominantly white and male.

For all the new members, Martinez shares a piece of advice.

“Vote, vote, vote. See the films and vote,” she said. “That’s the most important thing,”

The academy’s invitation list represents 57 countries, with 44% of this year’s invitees women and 41% from underrepresented ethnic/racial communities.

“I’m thrilled to see the academy continue to work on inclusion by giving people like me a voice,” said Del Castillo. “So grateful.”

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top