'Lasting image,' Lear, Creative nods to be given

Singer Ricky Martin, director-cinematographer Reynaldo Villalobos and screenwriter Steven de Souza have been tapped for special recognition at the 15th annual Imagen Awards, which honor positive portrayals of Hispanics in entertainment.

The Imagen Foundation’s board of directors picked Martin to receive the “lasting image” honor for outstanding achievement at the organization’s April 5 dinner gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Previous winners include Antonio Banderas, Cameron Diaz, Andy Garcia, Jennifer Lopez and Jimmy Smits.

Martin was also nominated in the musicvideo category for “She’s All I Ever Had” and in the TV Specials category for “Ricky Martin — One Night Only.” The organization named a total of 35 nominations for 12 categories.

Villalobos, a television director whose cinematography credits include “Urban Cowboy,” “9 to 5″ and “American Me,” will receive the Creative Achievement Award. The group’s inaugural Norman Lear Writer’s Award will go to de Souza, whose credits include the first two “Die Hard” movies, “48 HRS” and “Commando.” Producer Lear is a founder of the Imagen Awards.

The organization also nominated “Twice Upon a Yesterday” (Trimark Pictures), “The 13th Warrior” (Touchstone Pictures) and “East of Hope Street” (Nate Thomas & Associates) as finalists in the Theaterical Feature Film category.

Primetime TV dramas that were cited are “The West Wing” (Warner Bros.), “Nash Bridges” (Nash Bridges Prods.) and “Oz” (HBO), while primetime comedies garnering kudos are “Jesse” (Warner Bros.), “Oh Baby” (Lifetime) and “Suddenly Susan” (Warner Bros.).

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