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27 Latino-themed films nominated for National Film Registry

"The media and entertainment industry is the narrative-creating and image-defining institution in America," said Representative Joquin Castro

Library of Congress
Library of Congress | Shutterstock

August 22, 2023 7:02am

Updated: August 22, 2023 7:02am

Twenty-seven Latino-themed films have been nominated this year to enter the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress. 

Every year, the National Film Registry selects 25 films that represent the range and diversity of American film or have a historic or cultural impact to increase awareness for its preservation.

Two years ago, Representative Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, along with the members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, began an effort to include several Latino films in the registry to increase their representation culturally and change the Hollywood stereotypes of Latinos. 

"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," Castro wrote in a, Aug. 15 letter to Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress. 

"The media and entertainment industry is the narrative-creating and image-defining institution in America," Castro added. 

To change this perception, Castro began collecting suggestions from members of the public for Latino films that should be included in the film registry in July. To be eligible for nomination, the films must be at least 10 years old.

“As the Library of Congress works to preserve the films that shaped American culture, public nominations will put a spotlight on the Latino-driven films that have sold out theaters and defined generations,” he said at the time. “As we launch this year’s push for inclusion, I look forward to hearing from folks across America about the Latino films that have made an enduring impact on their lives.”

The 2023 Latino films Castro nominated include Oscar nominations for Latino actors and artists, such as the 2002 film “Frida” starring Salma Hayek and the 2011 film “A Better Life” about an undocumented worker in Los Angeles. Other films in the list include classics such as Alfonso Arau’s 1992 drama “Like Water for Chocolate” and Daniel Martin’s “I Like It Like That.”

"We're 20 percent of the country, but only three percent of the films in the National Film Registry have anything to do with Latino lives and culture. So this is an effort to help do better," Castro said.

The 2023 National Film Registry film selections will be announced later this year in December. 

The full list of Castro’s nominations: 

  • “My Family” (1995) by Gregory Nava. 
  • “Like Water for Chocolate” (1992) by Alfonso Arau. 
  • “…And the Earth Did Not Swallow Him” (1994) by Severo Pérez. 
  • “Blood In Blood Out” (1993) by Taylor Hackford. 
  • “Raising Victor Vargas” (2002) by Peter Sollett. 
  • “Frida” (2002) by Julie Taymor. 
  • “I Like It Like That” (1994) by Darnell Martin. 
  • “Walkout” (2006) by Edward James Olmos. 
  • “Mosquita y Mari” (2012) by Aurora Guerrero. 
  • “The Milagro Beanfield War” (1988) by Robert Redford. 
  • “Under the Same Moon” (2007) by Patricia Riggen. 
  • “American Me” (1992) by Edward James Olmos. 
  • “Tortilla Soup” (2001) by María Ripoll. 
  • “Mi Vida Loca” (1993) by Allison Anders.
  • “Instructions Not Included” (2013) by Eugenio Derbez. 
  • “Maria Full of Grace” (2004) by Joshua Martson. 
  • “Girlfight” (2000) by Karyn Kusama. 
  • “La Mission” (2010) by Peter Bratt. 
  • “Sleep Dealer” (2008) by Alex Rivera. 
  • “Alambrista!” (1977) by Robert M. Young. 
  • “Our Latin Thing” (1972) by Leon Gast. 
  • “Up in Smoke” (1978) by Lou Adler. 
  • “A Better Life” (2011) by Christopher Weitz. 
  • “Gun Hill Road” (2011) by Rashaad Ernesto Green. 
  • “In the Time of the Butterflies” (2001) by Mariano Barroso.
  • “American Experience: Roberto Clemente” (2008) by Bernardo Ruiz. 
  • “The Longoria Affair” (2010) by John J. Valadez.