Latinos, the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, are seeing themselves in several Oscar categories including best actor and best cinematographer.
A big surprise in today’s nominations was Mexican actor Demián Bichir getting a Best Actor in a Leading Role nod for his role in “A Better Life.” Bichir plays an undocumented gardener living in East L.A. who struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while trying to give his son the opportunities he never had.
Bichir is the second Mexican-born actor in history to be nominated in the Leading actor category. Anthony Quinn is the only other Mexican-born actor to be nominated in the Leading and supporting role categories.
“Hopefully more and more people will jump into iTunes and Netflix to see our film,” Bichir told US Weekly this morning. “That will be the biggest reward we could get. I dedicate this nomination to those 11 million human beings who make our lives easier and better in the U.S.”
Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is in the Best Cinematography category for his work in “The Tree of Life.”
Also recognized in the Animated Feature Film category is “Chico & Rita, by Spanish filmmakers Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal.
“Real in Rio,” a song by Brazilian musician Sérgio Mendes (with lyrics by Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” co-songwriter Siedah Garrett) is a nominee for Best Song.
Bérénice Bejo, got a nod in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in “The Artist” was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Spanish composer Alberto Iglesias is also in the Original Score competition for the music of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”
The Oscar awards ceremony will air on Sunday February 26 on ABC.