The Ibero-American festivities of the ‘Platino Awards’ at the Mayan Riviera got off to a star-studded start. An afternoon luncheon showered praise on a well-known Mexican star of yore and on a burgeoning Mexican filmmaker. The evening festivities included a red carpet ahead of a Cirque Du Soleil performance, highlighting themes of inclusivity, community development, and celebration of Spanish-language art.
‘Platino Awards’ Recognize Manolo Caro, Angelica Aragon
One of the first events Friday afternoon was a luncheon welcoming the press and introducing the awards. The ‘Platino Awards’ were created by the collaboration of two Spanish industry guilds. Specifically, Spain’s Producers’ Guild and Cinematographers’ Guild wondered, six years ago, why the Spanish-speaking world does not have its version of the Oscars. While the awards are a long way from achieving such world-renowned status, they are making a hard push. As per their own reports, over 980 films were eligible from 23 Latin American countries plus Spain and Portugal for consideration by the awards.
Furthermore, the organization embraced the United Nation’s “17 Goals Towards Sustainable Development.” The UN announced the list last year, as 2030 world goals relating to habitability and development. This year, the ‘Platino Awards’ expanded their categories to 17, symbolizing a match of that goal. The organization is committing resources and funds to educational programs that it believes could help promote those aims, including in particular those focused on inclusivity and peace among nations.
After these introductions, the leaders of the two guilds presented two trophies to two Mexican stars. The first went to Angelica Aragon, an actress well-known in Mexico for her role in soap operas and Mexican film. While she has not achieved notoriety in English-speaking communities, she is a legend in Latin America. The second prize went to Manolo Caro, the director of “Perfect Strangers,” and of the Netflix show “The House of the Flowers.” The young director, just over 30, is considered a rising star given the recent announcement of a collaboration between him and Netflix to produce a miniseries entitled “Someone Has to Die.”
Following the awards and short speeches, the “Platino Awards” made good on their promise of promoting diversity. An all-female Mariachi band played typical Mexican songs of the genre and did so astoundingly.
Luminaries Walk the Carpet
Later that night, the party turned to a Cirque de Soleil performance. This gave stars from at least a dozen Ibero-American countries the chance to show off some casual beach evening gowns in an abbreviated Red Carpet. I confess lack of familiarity with many of the celebrities who were in attendance. Still, it was nice to see ‘Roma’ producers Gabriela Rodriguez and Nicolas Celis make an appearance. Production designer and Oscar winner Eugenio Caballero also attended. Immediately upon their arrival, the crowd stirred with predictions that the movie would do well at Sunday’s events.
Other celebrities known to American audiences include Daniela Vega, the transgender actress who starred in A Fantastic Woman. Finally, Academy President John Bailey turned some heads with a last minute appearance on the carpet. It was amusing, in fact, that some of the reporters did not know who the one “gringo” in the lineup was. He said little on Friday but will have a bigger role as the weekend develops.