'Chihuahua,' 'Betty' lead Imagen Awards

Disney pic wins best feature film and supporting actor honors

It wasn’t business as usual Friday evening as more than 500 attendees gathered at the Beverly Hilton’s international ballroom to celebrate the winners at the 24th Annual Imagen Awards.

Benjamin Bratt, Andy Garcia, Judy Reyes, Jimmy Smits, Wilmer Valderrama and Alexa Vega were among the celebrities in attendance as awards in 19 categories were handed out.
Disney’s “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” claimed the best feature film prize and best supporting actor honors for Manolo Cardona. Maya Entertainment’s “Maldeamores” also picked up a pair of wins: Carlitos Ruiz was named best director and Luiz Guzman was named best actor.

Noticeably absent were the categories of actress in a feature film and supporting actress in a feature film. They were eliminated from contention this year because they failed to meet the minimum number of entries required for award consideration.

But the biggest surprise of the evening came when the previously unannounced Tom Cruise appeared on stage to present the Imagen lifetime achievement award to his agent, CAA’s Emanuel Nunez.

Special accolades were also given to “Ugly Betty” showrunner Silvio Horta, who received the creative achievement award; screenwriter Roberto Orci, who received the Norman Lear Writer’s Award, and Latino community leader Dolores Huerta, who received the president’s award.

On the TV side, Lifetime’s “Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story” took home a pair of awards: best primetime television program and best actor for Hector Bustamante. For the second year in a row, America Ferrera (ABC’s “Ugly Betty”) was named best actress, while her co-star Ana Ortiz picked up the supporting actress prizIe. Raymond Cruz (TNT’s The Closer”) was named best supporting actor.

Nickelodeon’s “Dora the Explorer” was named best children’s programming and Latino Public Broadcasting’s “A Class Apart” was named best documentary.

The Imagen Awards were established in 1985 by Helen Hernandez and producer Norman Lear to encourage and recognize positive portrayals of Latinos in the media.

A complete list of winners follows:

Best Primetime Television Program:  Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story (Lifetime)
Best Actor/Television:  Hector Bustamante, Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story (Lifetime)
Best Actress/ Television:  America Ferrera, Ugly Betty (ABC)
Best Supporting Actor/Television:  Raymond Cruz, The Closer (TNT)
Best Supporting Actress/Television:  Ana Ortiz, Ugly Betty (ABC)
Best Children’s Programming:  Dora The Explorer (Nickelodeon)
Best Documentary/ Television:  A Class Apart (Latino Public Broadcasting)

Best National Informational Program:  Despierta America – De Lava Platos a Chef (Univision)
Best Local Informational Program:  Vista L.A. (KABC)
Best On-Air Advertising:  FSE Strings (Fox Sports en Español)
Best On-Air Advertising (PSA’s):  University Health Systems – Child in Injury (Creative Civilization)
Best Variety or Reality Show: Quiero Mis Quinces –Cristina (MTV Tr3s)   

Best Feature Film: Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Best Actor/Feature Film: Luis Guzman, Maldeamores (Maya Entertainment)
Best Supporting Actor/Feature Film: Manolo Cardona, Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Best Director/Feature Film: Carlitos Ruiz, Maldeamores

Best Feature Documentary:  Beisbol (Winston Davis Asso.)
Best Theatrical Short:  St. Paul (Varona Prods.)
Best Live Theatrical Production:  8 Ways to Say I Love My Life and Mean It!