Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro has nominated 27 Latino-driven films for inclusion in the National Film Registry. Among the suggestions are films that brought Oscar nominations to Latino actors and artists, including Salma Hayek, as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in “Frida” (2002); Catalina Sandino Moreno, who portrayed a desperate undocumented pregnant immigrant in “Maria Full of Grace” (2004) and Demián Bichir, who played an undocumented worker in Los Angeles in “A Better Life” (2011). All were nominated for lead acting Oscars.

Other notable titles nominated by the congressman are Peter Sollett’s coming-of-age indie “Raising Victor Vargas,” Alfonso Arau’s romantic drama “Like Water for Chocolate (1992) and Darnell Martin’s “I Like It Like That” (1994), a story of a Puerto Rican family in the Bronx.

“Given the film industry’s continued exclusion of Latinos, we must make a special effort to ensure that Latino Americans’ contributions to American filmmaking are appropriately celebrated and included in the National Film Registry,” Castro wrote in his nomination letter. “The continued exclusion of Latinos in the film industry affects Latinos seeking opportunities in the industry and shapes how Latinos are perceived, stereotyped, and misunderstood in American life. Movies remain a crucial form of storytelling, and movies are uniquely accessible to the public. The media and entertainment industry is the narrative-creating and image-defining institution in America.”

The politician called on the public for Latino-themed movie suggestions back in July. To be eligible, films must be at least 10 years old. 

Recent National Film Registry additions of Latino movies have included “Cyrano de Bergerac” (1950), starring Puerto Rican actor José Ferrer, the first Latino ever to win an acting Oscar, with others such as “The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez” (1982), “West Side Story” (1961), “La Bamba” (1987), “Selena” (1997) and “Real Women Have Curves” (2002).

The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. The 2023 slate is expected to be announced in December 2023.

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