I attended the 26th Annual Imagen Awards on August 12, 2011 along with 500 or so other attendees and everyone was dressed to the nines. Origins of the Imagen (Image Awards) can be traced back to a 1983 meeting between Norman Lear and Helen Hernandez since there were no positive portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment industry at that time. Then both Helen and Norman met with the leaders of the National Conference for Community and Justice , a respected non-sectarian human relations organization whose commitment is to fight prejudice so as to reduce racial tensions. Read more about the Conference here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Conference_for_Community_and_Justice. It was from this meeting The Imagen Awards were conceived and every year since then the Imagen tradition recognizes Latinos who contribute to the industry from behind the scenes and those actors portraying positive roles.
The event was hosted by actress Maria Canals-Barrera, star of the Emmy Award-winning series,”The Wizards of Waverly Place” seen on Disney Channel. Performers were Mark Ballas, on Dancing with the Stars for 8 seasons and just released his solo album, “HurtLoveBox”; more info can be found at his website, http://www.markballas.com. DW3 also performed at the Imagens. DW3, one of the most enthusiastic new sounding bands blending Latin urban soul with some smooth jazz, can be found at dw3music.com.
Nominated in the category of Best Variety or Reality Show were two shows that hold a special meaning to myself and my companies, FILMLOOK Media and Post and C2 Entertainment. Mexican Made Easy is a show we have worked on for the past few seasons, color-correcting and editing episodes to air on The Food Network. Nominated in this category as well was Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Bryant Gumbel did a segment a few years ago about a border town called Brownsville in Texas. You wouldn’t know it from the looks of it, but Brownsville is home to some of the best chess players in the entire country. Bryant’s segment focused on how chess not only impacted the elementary students that were inspired by their teacher, but how the whole town was impacted by these kids. It was a wonderful surprise to see that Real Sports with Bryan Gumbel (chess kids) was announced the winner since a client of ours, Higher Ground, approached us to c0-produce a feature about these amazing kids. We are currently in preproduction and hope to be in production in the first quarter of 2012.
I don’t want to share all that happened at the event so you can see it for yourself September 25th on PBS at 12pm. By the way, PBS is also airing several programs in observation of Latino Heritage month which starts September 15th and ends on October 15th, check pbs.org for the programming details.