The National Hispanic Media Coalition, NHMC, announces its 16th Annual Impact Awards Gala, taking place Friday, February 22, in Beverly Hills, California. The NHMC Gala is one of the premiere Latino entertainment events in the country, recognizing outstanding contributions to the positive portrayal of Latinos in media. NHMC’s President and CEO, Alex Nogales, will host four hundred of the most influential persons in Hollywood when it comes to advancing Latino talent in Hollywood.
Emmy Award winning John Leguizamo will receive the award for Outstanding Theatrical Performance for his return to Broadway in his solo show Ghetto Klown. Leguizamo’s notable career defies categorization as it spans the genres of film, theatre, television, literature, and beyond. As a writer and performer he created the Broadway sensations Mambo Mouth, Spic-o-Rama, Freak, and Sexaholix…A Love Story all of which attracted much fanfare and critical acclaim. His film credits include The Lincoln Lawyer opposite Matthew McConaughey, Love in the Time of Cholera opposite Javier Bardem and Benjamin Bratt, The Happening opposite Mark Wahlberg, Righteous Kill opposite Robert Deniro and Al Pacino, The Babysitters opposite Cynthia Nixon and The Take opposite Rosie Perez as well as Miracle at St. Anna, Land of the Dead, The Groomsmen, Lies & Alibis, Assault on Precinct 13, Sueño, Spin, Moulin Rouge, Summer of Sam, King of the Jungle, Spawn, William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet, Dr. Doolittle, Carlito’s Way, and Casualties of War. He presently delights younger fans as the voice of Syd in Ice Age 1, 2, and 3.
Exclusive photos taken by Richard Sandoval
Actor Michael Peña will be receiving the Outstanding Performance in a Motion Picture award for his role as Officer Zavala in the critically-acclaimed film End of Watch. The film is about two young officers in South Central LA who are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel during a routine traffic stop. Peña garnered an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his role. His film credits include playing Daniel the locksmith in the Oscar winning film Crash, and he can currently be seen on the big screen in the ensemble feature Gangster Squad opposite Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling. Later this year he will be seen portraying civil rights leader and labor organizer, Cesar Chavez, in the film Chavez, directed by Diego Luna.
This year’s Impact Awards will honor onscreen talents Mario Lopez, Morena Baccarin, Lana Parrilla and Gina Torres.
“You know something exciting is happening when Latinos get to play a broad array of roles ranging from evil queens to lawyers, and when Latinos are hosting major shows like Extra and X Factor,” Nogales stated.”These four top-notch talents are beloved by millions of American fans, with particular appeal to the American Latino community.
Media all-star Mario Lopez, host of Fox’s X-Factor and the nationally syndicated EXTRA, will be honored with the award Outstanding Media Entrepreneur for his great feats in the entertainment industry thus far. Mario’s acting career was launched on the cult TV classic Saved by the Bell where he played the funny and lovable jock, A.C. Slater. Known as a jack of all trades, Mario is not only a well-known TV personality but also a nationally-syndicated radio show host on On with Mario and a New York Times bestselling author for his health and fitness books.
Morena Baccarin for her moving performance on Showtime’s Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning series, Homeland. Baccarin plays Jessica Brody, the presumed-widow of Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a marine who was thought to have died in Iraq but turns up alive after eight years and returns home a war hero. Baccarin stars alongside a notable cast that includes Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin. Before Homeland, Baccarin was last seen starring as a shapeshifting alien leader on ABC’s drama sci-fi, V.
Lana Parrilla for her role as the Evil Queen / Mayor Regina Mills in ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Parrilla’s performance as the alluring villain of parallel worlds, a mythical fairytale land and the modern fictional town of Storybrooke, Maine, has garnered her numerous accolades including TV Guide Magazine’s “Fan Favorite Villain.
Seasoned television and film actress Gina Torres will be honored for her role as Jessica Pearson, managing partner of Pearson Harden law firm, on USA’s Suits. Most notably known in the world of sci-fi, Torres has TV credits ranging from her role as the Russo-Cuban assassin Anna Espinsoa, on Alias, to the shotgun-toting mercenary Zoe Washburn, on Firefly, and the soul-eating Jasmin on Angel. Her film credits include The Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions opposite husband Laurence Fishbourne and Keanu Reeves.
Exclusive photos taken by Richard Sandoval from the 2012 event