Melissa Villaseñor to Host This Year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards Ceremony

Melissa Villaseñor has the spirit

The 33-year-old Mexican actress, stand-up comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member is set to host this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony.

Melissa Villaseñor

The show will not be live from the Santa Monica Beach this year due to COVID-19.

Villaseñor, the first Latina cast member of NBC’s long-running SNL, cut her teeth on the stand-up circuit in Los Angeles, and was further propelled to stardom by being a semifinalist on the 2011 edition of America’s Got Talent before landing on the SNL cast.

She is famous for her impersonations of celebrities like Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more.

This year’s show will be airing on Thursday, April 22, on IFC and AMC+ at 10:00 pm ET, breaking tradition as the Spirits typically take place on the Saturday afternoon before Sunday’s Oscars.

Said Blake Callaway, Executive Director, IFC and SundanceTV, “Melissa and the unique circumstances of now will make this year’s ceremony like no other. It will certainly be a departure from the past, but with Melissa, the chances of Dolly, Ariana Grande, Bjork, Gwen Stefani, Julie Andrews and Lady Gaga showing up have skyrocketed.”

“As someone who considers herself a pretty dependent person, I’m truly honored to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards,” said Villaseñor.

Outside of SNL, Villaseñor has provided voiceovers in films like Toy Story 4 and Ralph Breaks the InternetShe also was a guest on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee; and in projects like Hubie Halloween, Barry and Crashing, among others.

She’s currently working on her first book, a creative self-help journal forthcoming from Chronicle Books.

She joins a roster of past Spirit Awards hosts that includes Aubrey Plaza, Nick Kroll, Kristen Bell, Joel McHale, Patton Oswalt, Queen Latifah, John Waters, Samuel L. Jackson and Kumail Nanjiani.

Jonas Rivera Makes History at the Academy Awards

Jonas Riverahas entered the Oscars history books…

The 48-year-old Mexican American film producer picked up the second Academy Award of his career on Sunday night, making him the first U.S.-born Latino to win multiple Oscars.

Jonas Rivera

Rivera won an Oscar as one of the producers of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4, which was named Best Animated Feature.

Rivera had previously won an Oscar for the 2015 film Disney/Pixar’s animated film Inside Out.

“As if my mind couldn’t be more blown about the last five minutes, thank you for that,” Rivera said during a backstage interview, after interviewers informed him that he had made history. “I’m a little bit out of my body right now. It means the world to me. I can’t even really put it into words.”

While Rivera doesn’t speak Spanish fluently, he said he feels connected to his Latino identity and that he tries to bring his culture into his work as he did in Toy Story 4by hiring Jay Hernandezto play Bonnie’s father in the movie. Rivera was particularly close to his Mexican grandfather, to whom he dedicated the animated feature Up

“The only Spanish I learned was when my grandparents would fight,” Rivera said. “You work hard, you put your guts into it … and it does happen.”

Here are the winners at the 92nd annual Academy Awards:


Best Picture Parasite
Actress in a Leading Role Renée Zellweger, Judy
Actor in a Leading Role Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 
Directing Parasite, Bong Joon Ho
Original Song “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman, Music by Elton John, Lyric by Bernie Taupin
Original Score Joker, Hildur Guðnadóttir
International Feature Parasite, South Korea
Makeup and Hairstyling Bombshell, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker
Visual Effects 1917, Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy
Film Editing Ford v Ferrari, Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland
Cinematography 1917, Roger Deakins
Sound Mixing 1917, Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
Sound Editing Ford v Ferrari, Donald Sylvester
Actress in a Supporting Role Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Documentary Short Subject Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl), Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
Documentary Feature American Factory, Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert and Jeff Reichert
Costume Design Little Women, Jacqueline Durran
Production Design Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Production Design: Barbara Ling, Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
Live Action Short Film The Neighbors’ Window, Marshall Curry
Adapted Screenplay Jojo Rabbit, Screenplay by Taika Waititi
Original Screenplay Parasite, Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won, Story by Bong Joon Ho
Animated Short Film Hair Love, Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver
Animated Feature Film Toy Story 4, Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera
Actor in a Supporting Role Brad Pitt, Once upon a Time in Hollywood