2 Mexican-Born Film School Dropouts Swept the Oscars Last Night

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Twitter: @infoCinelandia

Ellen DeGeneres hosted the 86th annual Academy Awards last night. It’s one of the funniest Oscar broadcasts in years. Ellen ordered pizza, broke twitter with the best selfie of all time, and poked fun at the Academy’s not-so-secret lack of diversity. “Possibility number one: 12 Years a Slave wins best picture,” she said. “Possibility number two: You’re all racists.” As expected, it was a Mexican sweep with Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity taking home 7 Oscars including Best Cinematography for his fellow film school dropout Emmanuel Lubezki. With all those awards under Cuaron’s belt, including Best Director, it was probably less painful to lose Best Picture to 12 Years a Slave. It was an incredible night! In case you missed it here are the highlights and a list of the Latino winners.

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki

This Mexican-born multi-Oscar nominated cinematographer went to film school with Alfonso Cuaron (neither of them finished their studies) and has worked with some of Hollywood’s greatest directors including Terrence Malick and Tim Burton. He received his sixth nomination for Gravity and his first Oscar win. We are very proud of el chivo!

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron

Alfonso Cuaron made history by becoming the first Latino to win an Oscar for Best Director. Not too shabby for a film school dropout (the details are hazy but he’s revealed in past interviews that he was “asked to leave” for “questioning the ways of doing films.”) In his acceptance speech he thanked his mom in Spanish. What a guy!

Best Editing: Alfonso Cuaron

One of the two Oscars Alfonso Cuaron won was for co-editing Gravity. A true cinematic visionary he was part of the filmmaking process from beginning to end. He co-wrote the script with his son Jonas Cuaron, produced the film, directed it, and was in the editing room. This win made him the first Latino to win an Oscar for film editing.

Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

Mexican-born Kenyan actress/fashion icon Lupita Nyong’o gave one of the most touching speeches of the night. She ended with, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every child, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” The talented Lupita won an Oscar for her very first performance in a feature film, enough said.

In Memoriam: Eduardo Coutinho and Carmen Zapata

The sad death of the master documentarian Eduardo Coutinho sent shock waves across his home country of Brazil and the world. Reports allege that he died at the hands of his mentally ill son. His career spanning forty years produced innovative films that often blurred the lines between reality and fiction like Edifício Master (Master, a Building in Copacabana), Peões (Metalworkers), and Jogo de cena (Playing).

Carmen Zapata was an accomplished actress best known for her role in the film Sister Act. Her television credits include The Bold Ones, Married… With Children, Falcon Crest, L.A. Law and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. The native New Yorker had a Mexican father and Argentine mother. She died of at the age of 86. After last year’s snub of Lupe Ontiveros it was gratifying to see Coutinho and Zapata’s inclusion in the video tribute presented for the the ‘In Memoriam’ section of the night.

Honorable Mention to the Pizza Delivery Guy

And the selfie that crashed twitter just because…