MEXICO CITY – Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez said the Platino Prizes for Ibero-American Cinema, which recognize the best movies from that region and help those pictures gain a wider audience, have filled a void in the film world.
Derbez helped on Tuesday unveil a shorter longlist of this year’s Platino nominees at a ceremony Tuesday in Mexico City, where it was also revealed that he will host the fifth edition of the awards gala on April 29.
The winner of the Best Actor award in the inaugural Platino Prizes gala for his role in the Mexican comedy-drama “No se aceptan devoluciones” (Instructions Not Included), Derbez said that no previous prize had been specifically focused on Spanish- and Portuguese-language films.
“I think an award of the caliber of the Platino Prizes was needed,” he said in an interview with EFE.
The awards help these films become more widely disseminated and also open up new markets for actors, according to Derbez, who nevertheless lamented the state of regional distribution of Ibero-American cinema
“In Mexico, for example, we only watch Mexican cinema or American (United States) cinema, and these great productions from Spain, Argentina, Colombia, all of Latin America, Ibero-America, don’t get here,” he said. “And they’re in Spanish. It’s the same language. It’s absurd that they don’t reach us.”
He recalled that the Platino Prizes were launched with the goal of becoming the Oscars of Ibero-American cinema and said that objective was being achieved, noting that these awards galas are major productions featuring globally recognized stars.
Derbez said he felt very fortunate to be chosen as the host of the fifth awards gala, which will be held at the Gran Tlachco Theater at the Xcaret Park, a theme park and eco-tourism development in the Mexican Caribbean’s Riviera Maya resort district.
The 20 films that made the penultimate nominations cut for this year’s Platino Prizes include Chilean director Sebastian Lelio’s “Una mujer fantastica” (A Fantastic Woman), Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama,” Mexican director Humberto Hinojosa’s “Camino a Marte” (Road to Mars) and Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet’s “The Bookshop.”
On March 14, the final list of nominees – 10 in each category – will be unveiled.
The Platino Prizes for Ibero-American Cinema are organized annually by the Spain-based Audiovisual Producers’ Rights Management Association (EGEDA) and the Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers (FIPCA).