25 Hispanic Films Nominated to Combat Negative Stereotypes

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus submitted 25 Latinx film nominations to the U.S. National Film Registration

On March 2, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus submitted 25 film nominations to the U.S. National Film Registration in hopes to aid the end of negative Hispanic stereotypes and images.

In a letter to the Film Preservation Board, members of Congressional Hispanic Caucus, California Representative Raul Ruiz and Texas Representative Joaquin Castro said, “Latinos remain dramatically underrepresented in this influential industry, contributing to the misconceptions and stereotypes about Latinos in our society.”

The letter goes on to say, “we believe this is a significant factor motivating ongoing anti-Latino sentiment in American society, one which negatively impacts Latinos on all aspects of society, from immigration law to the education system to the current public health crisis.”

The nominations come after the caucus originally nominated the movie “Selena” in January. The list of movies spans from 1982 to 2011, including Julie Taymor’s 2002 film “Frida”, starring Salma Hayack, which follows the story of the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Another movie on the list is “Spy Kids” by Robert Rodriguez. The 2001 film is about two siblings who have to save their spy parents. The cast of the movie is mostly Hispanic. Some of the actors include Antonio Banderas, Alexa Penavega, Danny Trejo and George Lopez.

The full list can be found here.

The Caucus currently has 38 members, including California Representative Raul Ruiz, and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. According to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus website, their mission is to, “advocate for issues important to Hispanics through the Congressional Legislative process.”

Even though the movies were picked by the public and hispanic arts and media advocacy groups to aid the end of hispanic stereotypes, some people felt like not all the movies on the list contributed to the Hispanic experience.

“Is every film suggested by the Hispanic caucus worthy of being in the registry? Hardly,” Fidel Martinez, audience engagement editor for the Los Angeles Times said in an article. “Take “Frida” and “The Motorcycle Diaries.” Two good movies for sure, but they hardly speak to the American Latinx experience. Perhaps the caucus couldn’t come up with a full list and they threw those in for good measure.”

Others, like Twitter user Carlos Avila, felt like there should have been more indie movies included.

“[The Congressional Hispanic Caucus] needs to take a deeper dive into Latino indie films: Sleep Dealer, La Mission, Alambrista, Break of Dawn, Staccato Purr of the Exhaust, Come and Take It Day, Luminarias, La Ciudad, Crossover Dreams, Star Maps, En El Septimo Dia, Mosquita y Mari, etc.,” Avila said

Every year the National Film Preservation Board picks 25 movies to enter the U.S. Film Registry. According to the Library of Congress website the films are picked to, “showcase the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation.”

The only criteria for a film to be nominated is that it has to be more than 10 years old and be culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. The nomination doesn’t specifically need to be a film, it can be a show, a music video, or even a commercial. The program does allow any individual to make up to 50 nominations a year.

The deadline for nominations is September 15, after which the National Film Preservation Board will vote their picks into the Nation Film Registration.