2023 Oscars
2023 Oscars Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP

The shortlist for the 2023 Oscars has been released, giving viewers a glimpse of what to expect for the upcoming ceremony, and there was a good amount of Latino representation.

Here are some of the Hispanic filmmakers and actors holding it down at the this year’s Oscars.

Documentary Feature Film

“The Territory” follows the Uru-eu-wau-wau people, who are natives of Brazil, and their fight to maintain their land against deforestation and illegal settlers. The documentary gives the audience a unique and rare perspective as these natives have not had contact with anyone outside the forest. The film, partially shot by the Indigenous people, covers a three-year period and in doing so, they risk their lives at certain points to expose their reality. The film is now streaming on Disney+.

Documentary Short Films

The “Nuisance Bear” tells the unconventional story of polar bears that surround Manitoba, a providence in Canada. These bears attract several tourists during their annual migration. The documentary captures stunning visuals of these bears and the process it takes to safely handle and interact with them to get them out of the community. The film was co-directed by Venezuelan Canadian cinematographer Gabriela Osio Vanden. The award-winning cinematographer has a background in visual arts, and this is her directorial debut.

Up against “Nuisance Bear” and 13 other documentaries is “Shut Up and Paint.” This 20-minute documentary shows Artist Titus Kaphar as he preservers in the area of activism through his art, despite having to deal with an art community that he feels often tries to silence his message. The film was co-directed by Cuban-American Jewish filmmaker Alex Ramírez-Mallis. The Hunter College graduate has directed several other short films.

International film feature

The film “Argentina, 1985” is based off the 1985 Trial of the Juntas, in which inexperienced lawyers boldly prosecute the ringleaders of Argentina’s last civil military dictatorship. The movie has also been nominated for a Golden Globe. It was directed by Argentinian native and Screenwriter Santiago Mitre and stars Argentinian Actors Ricardo Darín, Francisco Bertín and Gina Mastronicola. The film is available on Amazon Prime and Roku.

In “Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” a world-renowned Mexican journalist and documentarian returns home and has to grapple with his past, personal relationships and identify as a Mexican, and what that actually means. The 2022 dark dramady was directed by Mexico City native and filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu. He is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. The film’s protagonist is played by Spanish Actor Daniel Giménez-Cacho. The movie is available on Netflix.

Music (Original Song)

Selena Gomez is bringing herself closer to EGOT status with her original song “My Mind & Me” from her documentary of the same name. The song acts as an intimate look behind the curtain of Gomez’s life. The soft guitar driven ballad emphasizes the idea that if Gomez shows her vulnerability, it’ll help others dealing with mental health struggles feel less alone. The documentary follows Gomez through the struggles she experienced as a Disney actress with lupus, a bipolar diagnosis, anxiety and depression. The film is available on Apple TV+.

Sofia Carson’s "Applause" is an empowering anthem from the film “Tell It Like a Woman.” The singer of Colombian descent encourages women to realize their power and be their own cheerleader. It is an appropriate anthem for “Tell It Like a Woman.” The drama is made of seven short stories documenting a different woman from around the world along with their trials and triumphs. All stories were directed by a diverse group of women.

Animated Short Film

“The Garbage Man” acts as a tribute to director Laura Gonçalves’ late uncle Manuel Botão. In the animated short, a Portuguese family reminisces about the Botão over a traditional Portuguese meal as a photo of him looks over his family. Throughout the film, the more they remember him, the more Uncle Manuel’s picture comes to life. The nonstop and dream-like animation is seen throughout as they talk about how Botão’s life including when served during the Portuguese Colonial War, when his family fled across the border to escape dictatorship and his time as a sanitation worker in Paris. The full video is available on The New Yorker’s website.

“Ice Merchants” is the story of a father and son who routinely leave their what seems like 1,000-foot-high house via parachute to go to the ground below and sell ice that they produce. It is the type of film that uses action, not words to convey its message. The unique animated short was directed by Portuguese director, animator and Illustrator João Gonzalez. In an interview with Animation Magazine, Gonzalez admits that he actually got into animation by accident.

“New Moon” is the heartfelt story that follows a mother and son as they use their imaginations and some inspiration from the new moon to make their dreams come to life. The movie takes place in West Philadelphia and according to the film’s website is dedicated to, “Black mothers and sons and the love and inspiration that keeps them inspired through immeasurable hardships.” The film is narrated and written by Colman Domingo, who is of Guatemalan descent, and it was co-directed by Domingo’s husband and Producer Raul Domingo.

Live Action Short Film

“All in Favor” or “Votamos” takes place during a community meeting where a landlord stirs up some controversy over his new tenant’s conditions. The film explores the human dynamic, how we address mental health, inherent fears we hide and more. The film was directed, produced and written by Spanish director Santiago Requejo. The drama is available on Roku.

The Portuguese film “The Lone Wolf” is about a popular radio host who one day while on the job receives a call from an old friend. The call takes a drastic turn as the radio host’s friend begins to call him out, bringing an ugly reality to light. The project’s director Portuguese musician and filmmaker Filipe Melo said he actually got the idea for the film while listening to the radio.

In the horror comedy “Plastic Killer” a woman lives in an abandoned family haberdasher in Madrid. Her only company is a plastic bag that she believes is her daughter Carmela. She then runs into Nancy, who is the director of an organization that works to preserve the environment and eliminate plastic. The conflict between these two women eventually escalates to the point of violence making it a life-or-death situation. The movie was directed by Spanish Director Jose Pozo.

“Sideral” is a Brazilian and French film that tells the story of a community preparing for the launch of Brazil’s first manned space rocket. The 15-minute black and white film focuses specially on a family that lives near the rocket launch site. The father of the house is a mechanic and the mother is a cleaner, but it seems the mother wants for something more. This movie was directed by Brazil’s own Carlos Segundo.

The film “Tula” is about a cleaning lady at a private school who meets the head teacher’s daughter in the bathroom where the form an unlikely bond. The young girl decides to spill her secret to the cleaning lady, and she must decide whether or not to help her. The movie was directed and written by Spanish Filmmaker Bea de Silva. This is the young filmmaker’s second feature film.

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