The 23rd Imagen Awards is ready for its close-up


For Helen Hernandez, the hardest part of putting together the annual Imagen Awards, taking place Thursday night at the Beverly Hilton, is the money. "It's always a challenge to raise the funds necessary to put on the awards," she says.

Nevertheless, for the past 23 years, Hernandez, the founder and president of the nonprofit Imagen Foundation, has been doing just that. And each year the awards ceremony -- which honors the achievements of Latinos in film, television, news and advertising -- has been getting bigger, the pool of nominees getting more impressive, a testament to the growing presence of Latinos in Hollywood. "The continuing evolution of Latino talent is really being noticed within the industry, which means every year it's more difficult to pick the winners," Hernandez says. "The quality and caliber of the projects that we have submitted every year keeps increasing."

When Imagen's panel of entertainment industry executives and Latino leaders convene each year to screen submissions for the main awards slate and consider potential honorees, they take into account creative achievement and the "impact (they make within) the community," Hernandez says.

Honorees this year include Rodrigo Garcia, who will receive the Creative Achievement Award for producing and directing HBO's "In Treatment"; Ligiah Villalobos receives the Norman Lear Writer's Award for penning the hit indie film "La misma luna"; and "Ugly Betty" star Tony Plana receives the lifetime achievement award in recognition of his acting career and his founding of the East L.A. Classic Theatre.

Click on the next page to see the full list of nominees.

On-Air Advertising

Artist Speaking Tr3s’, AB Quintanilla y Los Kumbia All Stars (MTV3)
Civic es Civic, La Agencia de Orci & Asociados
Descubre and Download, Colby O’Donis (MTV)
Descubre and Download, Malverde (MTV)
Tu Pride, Silvestre (MTV)    
Tu Pride, Elan (MTV)
Tu Pride, Ruben (MTV)
Vivelo Aqui Campaign (HBO)

Local Informational Programming
“Alter the melee” (Fox 11 News)
“Ninos inmigrantes llegan a la escuela” (Univision 23)
“Vista L.A.” (ABC7)

National Informational Programming
“Beyond Borders: an MTV Tr3’s Immigration Forum” (MTV)
“Hispanics Today,” Erica Ortiz & Don Kaiser, producers
“LatinEyes,” Andres Pruna, executive producer
“Maria Hinojosa One-on-One With Tony Plana” (WGBH)
“Nick News With Linda Ellerbee,” “I’m American, You’re Not” (Nickelodeon)

Theatrical Short or Student Film
“A Day at the Theatre” (Kenneth Castillo, director; Karla Ojeda, producer)
“Below the Fold: The Pulitzer That Defined Latino Journalism” (Roberto Gudino, producer, director; Olga Briseno, executive producer)
“Niña quebrada” (Jen Kleiner, director; Diana Romero, producer)
“Proof of Birth” (Jose Luis Orbegozo, director; Sergei Krasikav, producer)
“Suripanta” (David Rodriguez Estrada, director; David Rodriguez and Edward Cohen, producers)

Documentary for Television
“The Borinqueneers” (El Pozo Prods.)
“Brown Is the New Green: George Lopez and the American Dream” (Phillip Rodriguez, director, producer)
“Made in L.A.” (Robert Bahar, producer; Almudena Carracedo, director, producer)
“Orozco: Man of Fire” (Laurie Coyle and Rick Tejada-Flores, directors, producers)
“Recycled Life” (Iwerks-Glad Prod. in association with HBO/Cinemax Documentary Film)
“Toxic City: This Is Where I Live” (Nori Takei, director, producer, mun2)

Children’s Programming
“Dora the Explorer” (Nickelodeon)
“El Tigre, The Adventures of Manny Rivera” (Nickelodeon)
“Go, Diego, Go” (Nickelodeon)
“Handy Manny” (Disney Channel)
“Maya and Miguel,” (PBS)

Variety or Reality Show
“Ceasar and Chuy,” (LATV)
“Dancing With the Stars” (ABC)
“Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan” (National Geographic Channel)
“Mi TRL Awards” (MTV)
“Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew” (MTV)
“Step It Up & Dance” (Bravo)
“Vivo: Juanes” (mun2)
Supporting Film Actress
Danielle Polanco (“Step Up 2: The Streets”)
Roselyn Sanchez (“The Game Plan”)
Leonor Varela (“Where God Left His Shoes”)

Supporting Film Actor
Tego Calderon (“Illegal Tender”)
David Castro (“Where God Left His Shoes”)
Eugenio Derbez (“La misma luna”)
Jacob Vargas (“Sleep Dealer”)
Film Actress
Wanda de Jesus (“Illegal Tender”)
Kate del Castillo (“La Misma Luna”)
Giovanna Mezzogiorno (“Love in the Time of Cholera”)
Yvette Yates (“Niña quebrada”)

Film Actor
Adrian Alonso (“La misma luna”)
Javier Bardem (“Love in the Time of Cholera”)
Rick Gonzalez (“Illegal Tender”)
John Leguizamo (“Where God Left His Shoes”)

Mike Newell (“Love in the Time of Cholera”)
Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical 2”)
Patricia Riggen (“La misma luna”)

“Alondra Smiles” (Villa Media Prods.)
“Love in the Time of Cholera” (New Line)
“La misma luna” (Fox Searchlight)
“Where God Left His Shoes” (Vulcan Prods.)

Supporting Television Actress
Maria Canals Barrera (“Wizards of Waverly Place”)
Cote de Pablo (“NCIS”)
Eva La Rue (“CSI: Miami”)
Ana Ortiz (“Ugly Betty”)
Dana Ramirez (“Heroes”)

Supporting Television Actor
Jorge Garcia (“Lost”)
Esai Morales (“Jericho”)
Shalim Ortiz (“Heroes”)
Danny Pino (“Cold Case”)
Tony Plana (“Ugly Betty”)
Television Actress
America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”)
Selena Gomez (“Wizards of Waverly Place”)
Kathleen Herles (“Dora the Explorer”)
Christina Milian (“Snowglobe”)

Television Actor
Carlos Mencia (“Mind of Mencia”)
Edward James Olmos (“Battlestar Galactica”)
James Roday (“Psych”)
Wilmer Valderrama (“Handy Manny”)

Primetime Series
“ER” (NBC)
“Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
“Lost” (ABC)
“Scrubs” (NBC)
“Ugly Betty” (ABC)
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