They are often dubbed “the Latino Oscars.” Filmmakers and film societies of the Spanish and Portuguese communities had longed wondered why they had no combined awards to honor the best work in their cinema. Six years ago, the guilds of Spanish producers and cinematographers did create these awards, the Platinos. The statuettes are not at all like the boldly masculine Oscar, but feminine, slender and silver.
Platinos are given in 17 categories, many of which are the same as the Oscars, though, like the Golden Globes, Platinos also recognize excellence in television.
The Platinos are supported by FIPCA and by EGEDA, an organization founded in 1990 to defend the rights of Iberoamerican audiovisual artists. The Platinos are awarded among 23 member countries and have usually been presented in a different Ibero-American country each year. However, for the past two years, the awards ceremony has been hosted by Mexico in the Gran Tlacho Theater of the Xcaret eco-tourist complex in Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo. These past two years I have had the great pleasure of attending both the Platino nominations ceremony, held in Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel, and the awards ceremony in Xcaret.
A number of the nominated films are also submitted by their countries to the Academy’s International Feature Award category (previously named Foreign Language Film). Last year and this year, with A Fantastic Woman and Roma winning that Oscar, the Platinos honored the same films.
Several other contenders for the International Feature Oscar were likewise nominated for Platinos, including Colombia’s Birds of Passage, Uruguay’s A 12 Year Night, Spain’s Champions and Paraguay’s The Heiresses.
Here are trailers:
Ana Brun won the Platino for best actress in The Heiresses; Antonio de la Torre won best actor for El Reino.
The documentary award went to The Silence of Others, a deeply haunting documentary about oppression during Spain’s Franco era.
As in the Oscars, both Marina de Tavira and Yalitza Aparicio were nominated for best actress for Roma. Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz were also nominated for Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows.
One of the most powerfully disturbing performances was in the Argentinian film The Angel, also its country’s entry for the Oscar. Lorenza Ferro’s haunting but youthful face in this film was a strong presence at the Platinos.
The Platino winner for feature animation was Another Day of Life, based on the memoir of the Angola Civil War by the late Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski.
You can find a list of this year’s nominees here.
And the winners:
Best Ibero-American Feature Film: Roma (Mexico)
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma (Mexico)
Best Screenplay: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma (Mexico)
Best Original Score: Alberto Iglesias, Yuli (Spain)
Best Actor:Antonio De la Torre, El Reino (Spain)
Best Actress: Ana Cruz, Las Herederas (Uruguay)
Best Animated Film: Un Dia Mas Con Vida (Spain)
Best Documentary Film: El Silencio de Otros(Spain)
Best Ibero-American Debut Feature Film: Las Herederas (Uruguay)
Best Film Editing:Alberto del Campo, El Reino (Spain)
Best Art Direction: Angelica Perea, Birds of Passage (Colombia)
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma (Mexico)
Best Sound: Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay and Jose Antonio Garcia, Roma (Mexico)
Award for Film and Education Values: Campeones (Spain)
Best Ibero-American Miniseries or TV Series: Arde Madrid (Spain)
Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Series: Diego Luna, Narcos: Mexico (Mexico)
Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Series: Cecilia Suarez, The House of the Flowers (Mexico)
As reported by J. Don Birnam on Awards Circuit:
One of the most touching moments of the night without a doubt came when Aparicio presented an award. She asked that the audience hold and raise hands as a symbol of unity between men and women, and between sister nations. Like everything she does, it worked because it was so honest.
There is a strong sense of shared community and intimacy in the Platino awards, with the audience and performers joining together in several songs. Skits and awards are introduced several times from the flat arena floor, something easier to do in the Tlacho open-air theater than on the proscenium stage of the Dolby Theater.
The Platinos are still in their infancy, but with each passing year there is mounting evidence that some of the most engaged and important films are coming from the 23 countries they represent.
Here is the recent ceremony in its entirety:
Visions of Light Revisited