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Will Latinas make history at the 2022 Oscars this month? 

This year’s 94th Academy Awards, which will air on March 27th, is looking to be a big one for Latino nominees. From the year’s most popular animated feature Encanto to the iconic West Side Story remake, 2021 was a big year for Latinos. 

In an age where diversity and representation in media is paramount, it’s great to see more recognition for Latino and Hispanic actors. However, we are still seeing a lot of firsts as Hollywood catches up. One big first for the 2022 Oscars is Ariana DeBose’s nomination for Best Supporting Actress in her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake. Her nomination makes her the first ever Afro-Latino performer to receive an Oscar nomination and her win would be historic as well. 

2022 Oscars, West Side Story, Best Supporting Actress

Ariana DeBose makes history as first Afro-Latina nominated for an Oscar. (Photo via Ariana DeBose on Instagram)

If she wins, the Puerto Rican-born actress would follow in the footsteps of the legendary Rita Moreno, who won her Oscar in 1962 for the same role. Moreno’s win made her the first Latina woman to win an Oscar and DeBose’s win would make her the first Afro-Latina. The two actresses would also become part of the exclusive club of performers who have won Oscars for portraying the same character, such as Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone (“The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II,” respectively); and Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker (in “The Dark Knight” and “Joker,” respectively). 

The 2022 Oscars continue with big firsts for Latinas with their Encanto nominations. Producer Yvett Merino is nominated for Best Animated Feature, and composer Germaine Franco is the first ever Latina accepted into the Academy’s music branch for original score. 

 

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Other Latinas nominated for awards this year include Mexican-American filmmaker K.D. Dávila—nominated for Best Live Action Short Film for Please Hold, and Penélope Cruz, nominated Best Actress for her performance on Parallel Mothers. This is Cruz’s fourth Oscar nomination. 

In addition to our Latina ladies, several Latino and Hispanic men have also been nominated this year across various categories. 

American actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, and playwright, Lin Manuel Miranda.

Nominated for Best Original Song for Encanto with “Dos orugüitas” is Lin-Manuel Miranda. His win would bring him one step closer to achieving EGOT status. In the category of Best Animated Film, Carlos López Estrada and his team have been nominated for Raya and the Last Dragon. Additionally Chilean filmmakers, Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz, hold the nomination for Best Animated Short Film for Bestia.

You might be interested: “In the Heights” colorism controversy and why accurate representation is important

Guillermo del Toro speaking at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con International on July 26, 2014. (Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The category for Best Actor may also see a Hispanic win this year with Javier Bardem’s nomination for his role as  Desi Arnaz on Being the Ricardos. Finally, in the category of Best Picture, Guillermo del Toro snags a nomination for his film Nightmare Alley.  

We hope to see many of our favorite Latinos win at the 2022 Oscars, and we’re cheering on our historic Latina nominees! Tune in on March 27th to see who the winners will be! 

Chloé Zhao, Best Director, Oscars 2021

Oscars 2021: Chloé Zhao makes history as first woman of color to win Best Director

Chloé Zhao wins Best Director for Nomadland at the 2021 Oscars and makes history as the first woman of color to win in the category.

Chloé Zhao, Best Director, Oscars 2021

Chloé Zhao accepts award for Best Director at the 2021 Oscars. (Image Source)

The Oscars in 2021 looked a bit different 

Last night at the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony the best films of the past year were honored. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the event was held at various locations with Union Station being used as the show’s main location. At each location, attendees rotated in and out of the ceremony to adhere to pandemic social distancing guidelines and were only permitted to be maskless while on camera. 

The 2021 Oscars ceremony was notably different from years past with little-to-no skits and banter between presenters and all live performances pre-recorded. But perhaps a more subdued year is fitting to reflect the past year. 

Another big, and positive change to this year’s awards ceremony was the increase in diversity and representation among award nominees. For years the Academy has been criticized for their lack of diversity and inclusion, but this year we finally saw some historic firsts. 

Chloé Zhao’s historic win

Chinese filmmaker, Chloé Zhao became the first ever woman of color to win Best Director, and only the second woman to win in the category in nearly 100 years of the award’s history. Zhao won with her third feature film, Nomadland. The film stars Frances McDormand as a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.

Nomadland premiered on September 11, 2020 at the Venice Film Festival where it won the festival’s highest award, the Golden Lion. Since its release, the film has collected numerous awards and high praises. It was the third highest-rated film of 2020 by Metacritic and was named one of the top 10 films of 2020 by both the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute.

In her acceptance speech, Zhao spoke on what inspires her to keep going daily. She recounted how, “When I was growing up in China, my dad and I would play this game. We would memorize classic poems and texts and try to finish each other’s sentences.” 

Zhao then recited a line of poetry in Chinese. “People at birth are inherently good,” she translated. “Those six letters had such a huge impact on me when I was a kid. I still truly believe them today. Even though it seems like that the opposite is true, I have always found goodness in the people I met everywhere in the world.”

She went on to dedicate her award to “anyone who has the faith and courage to hold onto the goodness in themselves and to hold on in the goodness in each other no matter how difficult it is to do that. You inspire me to keep going.”