Cuaron, Nava vying for helming nod

Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas were among the Hispanic thesps recognized with Alma Award nominations from the National Council of La Raza advocacy org.

Film actor nods went to Banderas for “The Mask of Zorro,” Cheech Marin (“Paulie”) and Chayanne (“Dance with Me”). Hayek was up for “54,” along with Penelope Cruz (“The Hi-Lo Country”), Katy Juardo (“The Hi-Lo Country”), Elizabeth Pena (“Rush Hour”), Daphne Rubin-Vega (“Wild Things”) and Lauren Velez (“I Think I Do”).

Diaz and Lopez earned nods in the crossover film actress category for “There’s Something About Mary” and “Out of Sight,” respectively, along with Rita Morena (“Slums of Beverly Hills”) and Trini Alvarado (“Paulie”).

Crossover actor noms went to Andy Garcia (“Desperate Measures”), Freddie Prinze Jr. (“I Still Know What You Did Last Summer”), Miguel Nunez Jr. (“Why Do Fools Fall in Love?”) and Martin Sheen (“Monument Avenue”).

Director bids went to helmers Alfonso Cuaron (“Great Expectations”), Gregory Nava (“Why Do Fools Fall in Love?”), Robert Rodriguez (“The Faculty”) and Raul Ruiz (“Shattered Image”). On the TV side, the top series contenders were CBS’ “Chicago Hope” and “Nash Bridges,” NBC’s “Law & Order,” ABC’s “NYPD Blue” and HBO’s “Oz.”

The 1999 Alma (American Latino Media Arts) kudos will be handed out April 11 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The awards ceremony will be telecast later this year on ABC.

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