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Imagen Awards fete Moreno, two telepix

Two telepix, two docus and a TV series were honored Wednesday with Imagen Awards for creating positive media images of Latinos.

But for the sixth time in nine years, no award was given in the feature film category.

Winners collected their awards at a luncheon for 200 industry execs and community leaders at the Regent Beverly Wilshire.

Femme thesp Rita Moreno received a special lifetime achievement award for 40 years of contributions to the industry.

CBS prexy Jeff Sagansky, who is a co-chair of the competition, told the crowd that progress had been made by Latinos in showbiz, citing such past pix as “La Bamba” and “Stand and Deliver.” But, he added, “The absence of positive images and roles in some years indicates to us that we still have a great deal of work to do.”

“For the Love of My Child: The Anissa Ayala Story,” about how a San Gabriel Valley Latino family dealt with their 16-year-old daughter’s potentially fatal leukemia, won a telepic award. It was written by Anna Sandor and helmed by Waris Hussein.

“An American Story,” about a group of World War II veterans battling racism against Mexican-Americans in their small Texas town, also was honored. John Gray scripted and helmed the teleplay from a story by Lemuel Pitkin, Paul Donald Snowe and Gray.

The CBS series “Second Chances,” about misperceptions among the residents of small California town, won for its pilot episode. Sharron Miller directed and Lynn Marie Latham and Bernard Lechowick scripted.

PBS’s “The Hunt for Pancho Villa,” directed by Hector Galan and written by Paul Espinosa, and “The Emerging Majority: Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles,” a Laura Carter production aired locally on KCAL-TV, both were named in the documentary category.

The awards are sponsored by the National Conference of Christians & Jews to recognize the positive depiction of Latinos in film and TV.

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