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Spanish-Speaking World Gathers in Mexico to Fete Film at 6th Platino Awards – ‘ROMA’s’ Swan Song?

If you thought the awards-season victory lap for “Romawas over, think again. And if you think that all awards groups are dead set on tying their fates and calendars to the Academy’s, the 6th Platino Awards may have something to say.

Founded in 2014 by two industry guilds, the “Premios Platino del Cine Statuette for 6th Platino AwardsIberoamericano” (Platinum Awards for Iberian Cinema, in Spanish) bill themselves as having the sweeping goal of encouraging “United Nations for a more just and peaceful future, and a better world.” Generally, they recognize the best in Spanish-language cinema in the year prior to the awards ceremony. This year, the 6th Edition of the “Platino Awards” will take place on Sunday, May 12, 2019, in a hotel in the Rivera Maya, Cancun, Mexico.

As awards watchers may imagine, Mexico’s Oscar winning “Roma” is a serious contender, garnishing nine total nominations. They include Best Fiction Film, Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron), Best Actress (Yalitza Aparacio), and Best Supporting Actress (Marina de Tavira).  But, the Best Foreign Language Oscar winner will have to contend with some of the other nominees in that category. Indeed, it vanquished many of these last February.  These include Colombia’s “Embrace of the Serpent” and Uruguay’s “A Twelve Year Night.”  Other major contenders include Argentina’s “The Angel,” and Spain’s “The Champions.” Both are up for Best Fiction Film as well.

Will “Roma” win as it has almost all over the globe? It appears likely, particularly if one looks at the history of this nascent award.  Past winners of the group’s top prize include Chile’s “Gloria” in the first edition, Argentina’s “Wild Tales” in 2015, when the movie likely came in second at the Academy Awards, Colombia’s “Embrace of the Serpent” in 2016, and Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman” just last year.  Clearly, movies that achieve significant international recognition have done well in the early years of this award.

The activities span the weekend and include festivities and entertainment, Spanish and Latin American style. The Oscars have their luncheon. The Platino Awards have activities in a water slide park, audience awards, and a trip to a Cirque du Soleil production, all at local tourist hot spots in the Mayan Riviera.

When it comes to awards, we expect big names in the Spanish language entertainment world for the 6th Platino Awards. They include “Roma’s” Oscar nominated producer Gabriela Rodriguez and its Oscar nominated production designer Eugenio Caballero. Presenters run the gamut from “A Fantastic Woman’sDaniela Vega to the Mexican superstar Manuel Garcia Rulfo. American audiences have recently seen him in “The Magnificent Seven,” “Murder On The Orient Express,” and “Widows.” On the TV Side, Netflix Mexico’s wildly popular “The House of the Flowers” is in contention for several awards. Its director/producer Manolo Caro is in attendance, along with nominated star Cecilia Suarez. The group’s lifetime achievement award goes to the Spanish singer “Raphael.” The Spanish legend’s career spans over fifty years in Spanish-language music and film.
The group, as is at times the case with international bodies, seems light years ahead in terms of promoting diversity, inclusiveness, and cultural appreciation. The form of the award is a woman offering the world with the globe centered on Latin America. Reporters will to wear hand-woven hearts provided in welcome and bags and created by local indigenous group. This as a sign of appreciation for native people’s in Latin American countries. Communiques are increasingly gender neutral, and an all-female Mariachi band will perform throughout the weekend.
Overall, it is clear that the group is making a big push for broader recognition in the world of entertainment. In the U.S. we arguably suffer from awards over-saturation. But Spanish-speaking world, comprised of nearly half a billion people, arguably has some space to grow. The Goya Awards provide some recognition but are Spain-centric. Meanwhile, some Latin American countries are too small to able to generate much beyond local traction for their recognitions. A pan-Latin American award makes sense, and the names they gathered for this edition indicate interest. It does not hurt that Latin American cinema is enjoying a small but growing recognition in English-speaking countries. They, of course, still for the most part dictate the tone of the entertainment world conversation.
The 6th Platino Awards will take place on Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern time at the Great Hall of the Xcaret Hotel Mexico. Suarez and Spanish actor Santiago Segura (“Hellboy,” “Pacific Rim”) host the ceremonies.
Take a look at the full list of nominees across thirteen categories. Watch this space for daily coverage of the over the top events.

And, of course, tell us in the comments if you think “Roma” will sweep the 6th Platino Awards. Or will post-season fatigue leave it vulnerable?

Complete List Of Nominees for the 6th Platino Awards

Best Ibero-American Feature Film

  • Champions (Campeones) (Spain).
  • The Twelve Year Night (La Noche de 12 Años) (Spain, France, Argentina, Uruguay).
  • Birds of Passage (Pájaros de Verano) (Colombia, México, Dinamarca, France).
  • Roma, by Alfonso Cuarón (México).

Best Director

  • Alfonso Cuarón, for Roma.
  • Alvaro Brechner, for The Twelve Year Night (La Noche de 12 Años).
  • Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, for Birds of Passage (Pájaros de Verano).
  • Javier Fesser, for Champions (Campeones).

Best Screenplay

  • Alfonso Cuarón, for Roma.
  • Alvaro Brechner, for The Twelve Year Night (La Noche de 12 Años).
  • David Marqués y Javier Fesser, for Champions (Campeones).
  • Marcelo Martinessi, for Las Herederas.

Best Original Score

  • Alberto Iglesias, for Yuli.
  • Chico Buarque y Edu Lobo, for O Grande Circo Místico.
  • Federico Jusid, for The Twelve Year Night (La Noche de 12 Años).
  • Oliver Arson, for El Reino.

Best Actor

  • Antonio de la Torre, forEl Reino.
  • Javier Bardem, for Todos lo Saben.
  • Javier Gutiérrez; forChampions (Campeones).
  • Lorenzo Ferro, for El Ángel.

Best Actress

  • Ana Brun, for Las Herederas.
  • Marina de Tavira, for Roma.
  • Penélope Cruz, for Todos lo Saben.
  • Yalitza Aparicio, for Roma.

Best Animated Film

  • La Casa Lobo (Chile).
  • Memorias de un hombre en pijama (Spain).
  • Un días más con vida (Spain, Germany, Belgium, Poland).
  • Virus Tropical (Colombia).

Best Documentary Film

  • Camarón. Flamenco y Revolución (Spain).
  • El silencio de otros (Spain, EEUU).
  • La libertad del diablo (México).
  • Yo no me llamo Rubén Blades (Panamá, Argentina, Colombia).

Best Ibero-American Debut Feature Film

  • Carmen y Lola (Venezuela, Chile, Norway).
  • Las Herederas (Paraguay, Germany, Uruguay, Brazil, France, Norway).
  • Viaje al Cuarto de una Madre (Spain).

Best Film Editing

  • Alberto Del Campo, for El Reino.
  • Alfonso Cuarón and Adam Gough, forRoma.
  • Guillermo Gatti, for El Ángel.
  • Miguel Schverdfinger, for Birds of Passage (Pájaros de Verano).

Best Art Direction

  • Angélica Perea, for Birds of Passage (Pájaros de Verano).
  • Artur Pinheiro, for O Grande Circo Místico.
  • Benjamín Fernández, for El Hombre que mató a Don Quijote.
  • Eugenio Caballero, for Roma.

Best  Cinematography

  • Alfonso Cuarón, for Roma.
  • Carlos Catalán, for The Twelve Year Night (La Noche de 12 Años).
  • David Gallego, for Birds of Passage (Pájaros de Verano).
  • Luis Armando Arteaga, for Las Herederas.

Best Sound

  • Carlos E. García, for Birds of Passage (Pájaros de Verano).
  • José Luis Díaz, for El Ángel.
  • Roberto Fernández and Alfonso Raposo, forEl Reino.
  • Sergio Díaz, Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and José Antonio García, for Roma.

PLATINO Award for Film and Education Values

  • Champions (Campeones) (Spain).
  • Carmen y Lola (Spain).
  • The Twelve Year Night (La Noche de 12 Años) (Spain, France, Argentina, Uruguay).
  • Las Herederas (Paraguay, Germany, Uruguay, Brazil, France, Norway).

Best Ibero-American Miniseries or TV Series

  • Arde Madrid (Spain).
  • El Marginal II (Argentina).
  • La Casa de las Flores (México).
  • Narcos: México (México).

Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Series

  • Diego Boneta, for Luis Miguel: La Serie.
  • Diego Luna, for Narcos: México.
  • Javier Rey, for Fariña.
  • Nicolás Furtado, for El Marginal II.

Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Series

  • Anna Castillo, for Arde Madrid.
  • Cecilia Suárez, for La Casa de las Flores. 
  • Inma Cuesta, for Arde Madrid
  • Najwa Nimri, for Vis a Vis.


What do you think?

Written by J. Don Birnam

J. Don Birnam is a New York-based film critic and journalist. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and an inaugural member of the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association.

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