Celebrities Speak Out at 17th Annual NHMC Impact Awards

Kruger&Bichir

Diane Kruger & Honoree Demian Bichir of “The Bridge”

Latino Stars Speak Out For Inclusive Hollywood, Immigration Reform at the 17th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala 

ginarodriguez-200x300Beverly Hills, CA —  An eclectic mix of Hollywood luminaries attended last week’s NHMC’s Impact Awards gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.  Among the attendees and honorees were three academy award nominees Demian Bichir (A Better Life, the Bridge), Gregory Nava (El Norte) and this year’s most accomplished producer George Parra, whose two Oscar nominated films, Nebraska and American Hustle, have garnered a combined seventeen nominations.  The evening was hosted by rising young stars Gina Rodriguez (Filly Brown) who was recently cast in a pilot, Jane the Virgin, for the CW and Dyanara Torres.  Honored that night were Bichir, Emily Rios, also from The Bridge, Parra, actor/director Diego Luna (Cesar Chavez), and Edward James OlmosDavid L. Cohen, Executive VP of Comcast Corporation accepted the award for Outstanding Diversity Practices.  Indeed, an eclectic group of Power Players in Hollywood all under one roof.

I hope that all of us who are being honored tonight will serve as a testament to prove that there is a growth of Latinos in mainstream Hollywood and that this will continue.”  Producer George Parra

The NHMC Impact Awards Gala recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions to the positive portrayals of Latinos in media, and is one of the premiereLatino entertainment events in the country, hosting Hollywood’s most influential figures.

At the gala, Diane Kruger presented her The Bridge co-star Demian Bichir with the Outstanding Performance in a Television Series award for his performance in the F/X series. Accepting the award, Bichir recognized the importance of fighting stereotypes, lauded the role of Latino arts leaders in developing Latino talent, and urged the Latino community to support Latino films, saying, “We need to go to the theaters and fill up [those theaters], so everyone knows we are making those films.” Bichir also affirmed his support to immigration reform advocates, saying “Count on me please.” Bichir continued, “We are telling everyone in Congress that immigration reform is about…human things,” reminding the country’s lawmakers that immigration reform is about real people-the large and diverse immigrant community.

Rosario Dawson, star in the upcomingCesar Chavez, presented the Outstanding Direction in a Motion Picture award to the film’s director, Diego Luna.  Luna accepted the award saying, “I feel honored,” and dedicated it to those working for immigration reform, and who recognize “those who are feeding this country, who are building this country, who are working to make America what it is today.”

…send the message that we want Latinos to be represented in films,” including “the stories of our heroes.”  …Diego Luna

DiegoLunaLuna also dedicated the award to his two children, including his California-born son, who inspired him to make the film, saying “I realized how important it is to tell every kid in America who Cesar Chavez was, and what the farmworkers movement achieved in the 60s and 70s,” and expressed his hope that viewers of his film leave the theater “thinking and asking themselves where their food comes from. If we do that, we’ve achieved something big.” Luna also joined Bichir’s call to the Latino community to support films like the upcoming Cesar Chavez to “send the message that we want Latinos to be represented in films,” including “the stories of our heroes.”

Michael D. Olmos accepted the Lupe Ontiveros Indomitable Spirit Award on behalf of his father, Edward James Olmos. Inaugurated in 2013, the Lupe Ontiveros Indomitable Spirit Award is presented to media and entertainment leaders for their outspoken and relentless commitment to advocacy and increasing the visibility of the Latino community’s achievements and contributions to this country.

In a message delivered via his son, Edward James Olmos thanked NHMC and said, “To my dear, passionate, fierce Lupe: I am humbled and proud to accept this award so correctly named after you, for you are and forever will be an indomitable spirit. I miss you my friend.” In a pre-recorded acceptance speech, Edward James Olmos expressed hope that more artists start to take action to support the Latino community, saying, “whenever the NationalHispanic Media Coalition calls on you, you help them.”  Recalling past moments, Michael D. Olmos said that he learned that his father’s courageous advocacy was based on his belief that “that is the way we should all live our lives, that we should be willing to sacrifice everything for those who need it the most, and that the Indomitable Spirit we’re talking about starts at home.”

EmilyriosMatthew Lillard presented his The Bridge co-star Emily Rios with the Outstanding Performance in a Television Series award for her performance in the F/X series. Rios accepted the award saying, “I understand our public responsibility in this industry, as a Latina,” and recognized the “dignity” of the show’s production and distribution company for breaking ground with its inclusion of bilingual dialogue.

George Parra, executive producer of American Hustle andNebraska, received the Excellence in Motion Picture Producing award. In accepting his award, Parra acknowledged the difficulty he had as a Latino to achieving a firmly established 28 year-long career in the film industry, and affirmed that Latinos are in all facets of the media industry and “should be given equal opportunity and recognition.” Parra, who also thanked his Colombian and Spanish immigrant parents, said he hopes that the evening’s honorees are a “testament that there is a growth of Latinos in mainstream Hollywood.”

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Other special guests and presenters included: Adam Rodriguez(CSI: Miami); Rosario Dawson (Cesar Chavez); Diane Kruger(The Bridge); Matthew Lillard (The Bridge); Judy Marte (NYC 22); Arturo Rodriguez, President of the United Farm Workers of America; Sonny Skyhawk, veteran Hollywood actor and Founder & CEO at American Indians in Film & Television; Nick Ontiveros, son of iconic actress Lupe Ontiveros; Tony Hernandez, co-founder and executive producer of the Immigrant Archive Project,  and recipient of the inaugural Lupe Ontiveros Indomitable Spirit Award; and NHMC President & CEO Alex Nogales.

For more information about the 17th Annual NHMC Impact Awards, visit:www.nhmc.org/impactawards.

For the latest updates on the 17th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala, follow NHMC on Twitter @nhmc and hashtag #ImpactAwards.

The 17th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala was supported by The Walt Disney Company and Disney ABC Television Group. Other sponsors include Comcast NBCUniversal, Univision Communications, Inc., Entravision Communications Corporation, Davila Multicultural Insights, NUVOtv, CBS Corporation, A+E Networks,Bright House Networks, The Nielsen Company, Fox Audience Strategy | FX Networks, HBO, Edison International, SOS Global Express, RJ Medrano & Associates, Shine America, Sprint, Warner Bros. Entertainment, T-Mobile USA, Pepsi, and Moët & Chandon.