Hispanic bizzers face uphill climb for parity

This year’s Imagen Awards, which are dedicated to acknowledging achievements by and positive portrayals of Latinos in culture and entertainment, have hit a bump on the road to parity.

There was a paucity of Latino film roles in 2008, and two categories — best actress/feature film and best supporting actress/feature film — were eliminated from contention because they did not meet the minimum number of entries required for award consideration. As for best actor and best supporting actor, six of the seven nominees come from Disney’s talking-dog pic “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”

On the brighter side, the tube has picked up much of the slack, and TV categories are filled to the brim with multiple noms for everything from Latino flagship “Ugly Betty” (whoseshowrunner, Silvio Horta, receives the org’s creative achievement honor) to bilingual children’s show “Dora the Explorer” to “Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story” and “The Closer.” (For the full list, visit imagen.org.)

As for film, the future of the potential Imagen Awards lineup looks brighter than the present. 2009’s Latino-oriented pictures include “Rudo y Cursi” and “The Limits of Control” plus new films from Pedro Almodovar, Alejandro Amenabar and Robert Rodriguez. And this year’s Norman Lear honoree, Roberto Orci, has emerged as one of Hollywood’s top screenwriters. Perhaps the sector is in the midst of an upswing already.

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