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The Hollywood Reporter

3 Almas A Charm For 'Piñero'

MAY 19, 2002
Copyright © 2002
The Hollywood Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

LOS ANGELES --- Borys Kit "Piñero," a film about the explosive life of poet-playwright-actor and Hispanic icon Miguel Piñero, went for a hat trick at the 2002 American Latino Media Arts Awards, which honor Latinos in film, television and music.

The ALMAs spanned two days: An inaugural awards gala took place Friday night at the Biltmore Hotel and an awards show bursting with Latin pride was held Saturday night at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

"Piñero" picked up awards for outstanding motion picture and outstanding screenplay, which were accepted by its writer-director Leon Ichaso. The award for outstanding actor went to the biopic's star Benjamin Bratt.

When he accepted the award for outstanding motion picture, in which the film beat out nominees "Bread & Roses," "crazy/beautiful," "King of the Jungle," "Spy Kids" and "Tortilla Soup," Ichaso thanked the founders of Greenestreet Films for their courage in helping him make "Pinero," saying most people in Hollywood "get scared when they hear the word Latino."

The outstanding director award went to Robert Rodriguez for "Spy Kids" (Antonio Banderas accepted the trophy), while Laura Elena Harring snagged outstanding actress in a motion picture. Andy Garcia was awarded outstanding supporting actor for his performance in "Ocean's 11," while a tie in the supporting actress category saw Elizabeth Pena win for "Tortilla Soup" and Elpidia Carrillo win for "Bread & Roses."

In the television categories, family drama "Resurrection Blvd." won the award for outstanding TV series, while Esai Morales picked up outstanding actor for his work on "NYPD Blue (news - Y! TV)." Rita Moreno netted the award for outstanding actress for her role in HBO's "Oz" and received the first of Saturday night's many standing ovations.

Moreno gave one of the evening's most impassioned speeches when she noted how far Hispanics and the ALMAs have traveled: "When I first came (to the ALMAs), it was still difficult to fill the theater with people. It was difficult to get the networks interested. Watching clips tonight, it's not only that it has grown so much, but that performances are such quality performances. And it's coming from Latinos. We can now stop being grateful when we get awards, we can stop being grateful when we are accorded fame and celebrity and success, because you know what? We worked very hard for this. We deserve it. And more importantly, we have earned it."

In the music division, singer Marc Anthony also recorded a hat trick, winning the ALMA for outstanding male performer, outstanding Spanish album of the year, and outstanding performance in a music/variety/comedy special. Latin group Ozomatli picked up breakthrough artist/group of the year and outstanding Latin group, while Jennifer Lopez's video "Love Don't Cost a Thing" was awarded the People's Choice Award for outstanding video.

Meanwhile, Antonio Banderas received the Anthony Quinn Award for Achievement in Motion Picture, guitarist Freddie Fender got the Ritchie Valens Pioneer Award, Ricky Martin was awarded the National Council of La Raza's first ever Vanguard Award for creating a platform for Hispanic artists and finally (as the audience went completely wild), John Leguizamo received Entertainer of the Year.

Franc Reyes received the Emerging Filmmaker Award for his movie "Empire" at Friday's Inaugural Awards Gala. Reyes said there are so many books on filmmaking out right now that one doesn't necessarily need to go to film school; a Barnes& Noble will suffice. "I didn't have $40,000 to go to film school but I did have $1.50 for coffee," he said, describing his many trips to the bookstore to learn the craft of filmmaking.

The ALMA Awards were hosted by comedian Paul Rodriguez and will air on ABC June 1st.

The list of other winners is: "No Turning Back" and "The Blue Diner" (tie), outstanding independent motion picture; "Amores Perros," outstanding foreign film; Ken Diaz ("Training Day"), outstanding makeup in television and film; "In the Time of Butterflies," outstanding made-for-TV movie or miniseries; Salma Hayek ("In the Time of Butterflies"), outstanding actor in a TV movie or miniseries; Jesus Trevino ("Third Watch"), outstanding director of a TV drama or comedy; Adam Fierro ("Resurrection Blvd."), outstanding script for a TV drama or comedy; A Martinez ("General Hospital"), outstanding actor in a daytime drama; Eva Longoria ("The Young and the Restless"), outstanding actress in a daytime drama; Elizabeth Vargas ("20/20"), outstanding correspondent/anchor of national news; "Calle 54", outstanding documentary; and "Taina," outstanding children's TV programming.

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