Demián Bichir is reaping the recognition after starring in critically acclaimed film about an East L.A. illegal immigrant gardener.
The 48-year-old Mexican actor has received a Spirit Award nomination in the Best Male Lead category for his star-making role in A Better Life, a poignant film about a father’s love and the lengths he’ll go to give his child the opportunities he never had.
Bichir—who depicted Fidel Castro in Steven Soderbergh’s Che and had a recurring role on Showtime’s Weeds—will face off against Hollywood heavyweights Ryan Gosling (Drive) and Woody Harrelson (Rampart), as well as Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Michael Shannon (Take Shelter).
But Bichir isn’t the only Hispanic actor getting some Spirit love…
Transgender actress Harmony Santana has received a Best Supporting Female nomination for playing Michael/Vanessa in the coming out drama Gun Hill Road, the same role that landed her a Gotham Award nomination for Breakthrough Actor. She’s up against Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter), Anjelica Huston (50/50), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs) and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants).
With five nods each, The Artist and Take Shelter lead this year’s nominations for the Spirit Awards, which honor films made outside of the Hollywood studio system.
Winners will be announced at the 27th annual Spirit Awards daytime ceremony on Saturday, February 25 that will be broadcast later in the evening on the IFC channel.
The Spirit Awards are produced by Film Independent—the non-profit arts organization that also puts on the Los Angeles Film Festival.