Ibero-American cinema has strong, authentic voice, Mexican actress says

Mexican actress Karla Souza poses upon arrival at the press conference to announce the Platino Awards nominees, at the Roosevelt hotel, in Los Angeles, California, United States, 21 March 2019.EPA- EFE/ Armando Arorizo

Mexican actress Karla Souza poses upon arrival at the press conference to announce the Platino Awards nominees, at the Roosevelt hotel, in Los Angeles, California, United States, 21 March 2019.

EPA- EFE/ Armando Arorizo


A Mexican actress who helped announce the nominees for this year’s edition of the Platino Awards said in an interview with EFE that Ibero-American cinema has a very strong, genuine and authentic voice.

Karla Souza, who made her remarks in an interview with EFE, also said the Platinos - whose sixth edition will take place on May 12 at the Gran Tlachco Theater in Riviera Maya, Mexico - are playing a vital role in building bridges among the region’s nations.

“It’s important to come together and build these bridges between Ibero-American nations with our cinema, which is a way of conveying our social, economic and political experience,” said the 33-year-old Mexico City native, who stars as Laurel Castillo in the American legal drama television series “How to Get Away With Murder.”

“If we don’t value ourselves, nobody else will,” she added.

“Our voice is very strong, genuine and authentic ... It’s extremely important for us to support these awards that bring us together and also to recognize the work of countless people who have lifted up stories and voices that we need today,” she said.

Souza believes Ibero-American cinema is enjoying a boom period, partly because it has shown the ability to tell stories of universal interest.

“There is so much talent that sometimes goes untapped ... I’m more drawn to the stories of Ibero-American cinema than Hollywood movies, maybe because I’m a Latina, and I feel like I see myself more reflected in them,” said the actress, who this year will be filming two Spanish-language movies.

“That’s what I feel as an artist, that I need to express my experience in the Spanish language. If we don’t value ourselves and we don’t have this recognition, we’re not going to secure budgets for our stories. The only difference is the amount of money invested in Hollywood, compared to what’s invested in Latin America,” she said.

The Mexican film “Roma,” winner of three Academy Awards at this year’s Oscars (Best Foreign Language Film, Best Cinematography and Best Director), is the clear favorite in this year’s edition of the Platino Awards for Ibero-American Cinema.

It received a total of nine Platino nods at Thursday’s ceremony in Los Angeles, while Spanish-Uruguayan film “La noche de 12 años” (A Twelve-Year Night) and Colombia’s “Pajaros de verano” (Birds of Passage) garnered six nominations apiece.

Spanish film “Campeones” (Champions) and Paraguay’s “Las herederas” (The Heiresses) each received five nominations.

“Campeones,” “Roma,” “La noche de 12 años” and “Pajaros de verano” will compete in the category of Best Ibero-American Film.

“It is a big haul (of nominations), really wonderful,” said the star. “I hope ‘Roma’ will keep being that door that’s opened wide, so that (other) Ibero-American films also are covered in leading media outlets and can be supported in that same way.”

The actress, whose film credits as an actress include “No se aceptan devoluciones (Instructions Not Included) and “Nosotros los Nobles” (The Noble Family), told EFE she is currently working on a project that is being filmed in Chile and Argentina.

“I’m going to shoot a project with Amazon in two weeks. That’s all I can say. I’m very excited about going to Chile because I’m half Chilean,” she said, adding that she has mainly forged her career in Mexico and the United States thus far.

Souza also will be shooting a film that is based on a true story and has been in the making for the past four years.

“I’ve been training for almost a year for this project, which is very physical, and that’s despite having had a baby 11 months ago. I had to start training five weeks after giving birth, but it’ll all pay off and I’m expecting a good end result,” she said.