'Luna' shines at Imagen nods

Tony Plana, Carlos Mencia also receive awards

Los estrellas were out in force Thursday night for the 23rd annual Imagen Awards as the tiny drama "La Misma Luna" dominated with five awards, including best picture.

Such Latino luminaries as John Leguizamo, Jimmy Smits, Edward James Olmos, Lupe Ontiveros, Eva La Rue and Cesar Millan were in attendance at the Beverly Hilton as 18 awards were handed out for achievement in features and television.

"Luna," written by executive producer Ligiah Villalobos. won five Imagens on the feature side: best actor for Adrian Alonso, best actress for Kate Del Castillo, best supporting actor for Eugenio Derbez, best director for Patricia Riggin and best picture. The film set a record for North American opening by a Spanish-language film when Fox Searchlight and the Weinstein Co. released it in March.

The TV awards were more widely dispersed, with ABC's "Ugly Betty" collecting honors for best primetime program and best supporting actor for Tony Plana. ("Betty" star America Ferrera also appeared in "Luna."). Carlos Mencia won best actor for his Comedy Central showcase "Mind of Mencia," while actress and pop star Christina Milian scored best actress for the ABC Family feature "Snowglobe."

The best children's programming award went to the Nickelodeon mainstay "Go, Diego, Go!"

Several legacy awards also were handed out. Plana received the Lifetime Achievement Award; Rodrigo Garcia, producer-director of HBO's "In Treatment," received the Creative Achievement Award; and Villalobos received the Norman Lear Writers Award.

"This year we saw an increase of quantity and quality of exceptional submissions across categories," said Helen Hernandez, founder and president of the Imagen Foundation. "The increase of Latino representation across entertainment disciplines is truly indicative of the prevalent role we play in Hollywood, mainstream America and throughout the world."

Hernandez launched the Imagen Awards in 1985 to nurture an increased Latino presence in the entertainment industry and more positive representations of Latinos on TV and movie screens.

A full list of winners is available on the next page.

23rd Imagen Awards winners

Film

Best picture
"La Misma Luna"

Best actor
Adrian Alonso, "La Misma Luna"

Best actress
Kate Del Castillo, "La Misma Luna"

Best supporting actress
Leonor Varela, "Where God Left His Shoes"

Best supporting actor
Eugenio Derbez, "La Misma Luna"

Best director
Patricia Riggin, "La Misma Luna"

Best theatrical short or student film
"A Day at the Theater: The Misadventures of Cholo Chaplin"

Best theatrical production
"Macho Men & the Women Who Love Them"

TV and film best documentary
"Brown Is The New Green"

TV

Best primetime program
"Ugly Betty"

Best actor
Carlos Mencia, "Mind of Mencia"

Best actress
Christina Millian, "Snowglobe"

Best supporting actor
Tony Plana, "Ugly Betty"

Best supporting actress
Dania Ramirez, "Heros"

Best variety or reality show
"Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan"

Best children's programming
"Go, Diego, Go!"

Best local informational programming
Fox 11 News, "After the Melee"

Best national informational programming
Nick News With Linda Ellerbee, "I'm American, You're Not"

Best on-air advertising
MTV3 Tu Pride, Silvestre

Lifetime Achievement
Tony Plana

Norman Lear Writer's Awards
Ligiah Villalobos

Creative achievement
Rodrigo Garcia
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