by Antonio Mejías-Rentas
HOLLWOOD’S TOP LATINA: The Emmy-winning star of Ugly Betty will be honored this week in Los Angeles as Hispanic Woman of the Year. America Ferrera, 23, and the 25 most powerful Latinas in film, TV and music will be feted by the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard at an Oct. 9 breakfast at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
In another recognition item, Cuban percussionist Candido Camero, 87, is one of five musicians named 2003 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters this month. He is credited with being the fi rst percussionist to bring conga drumming to jazz.
Camero will formally receive the honor Jan. 12 in Toronto.
UP FOR CONSIDERATION: Eleven fi lms from Spain and Latin America will compete to be among fi ve nominees in the Foreign Language category for next year’s Academy Awards. Countries that submitted fi lms for consideration include Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Uruguay and Cuba.
Chile will be represented by Padre nuestro, a fi lm by Rodrigo Sepúlveda about a dispersed family that travels to Valparaiso to see the dying patriarch. Its stars include Argentine actress Cecilia Roth. Brazil’s submission is O ano em que mous pais sairam de férias (“The Year My Parents Went on Vacation”), director Cao Hamburger’s story set in the 1970s and told from the perspective of a child.
Venezuela, a country yet to obtain a nomination, has entered Postales de Leningrado, a story set in the 1960s, during a time of guerrilla warfare, that focuses on two children.
Colombia’s entry is Satanás, which tells the true story of the 1986 massacre of 29 people in Bogotá by Vietnam War veteran Campo Elias Delgado. It was directed by Andres Balz.
Bolivia’s fi lm is Los Andes no creen en Dios, from director Antonio Eguino. Set in 1920, it’s about a young writer educated in France who returns to a small Andes mining town and falls in love.
Uruguay seeks the nomination with El baño del Papa, directed by Enrique Fernández and César Charlone. It tells the story of a small town whose residents are erroneously led to believe that a 1988 visit by John Paul II will bring an economic boom.
Cuba submitted Pavel Giroud’s La edad de la peseta. Set in 1958 Havana, it is a co-production with Spain and Venezuela. Also (covered last week): Spain (El orfanato), Mexico (Stellet Licht), Argentina (XXY) and Puerto Rlco (Maldeamores).