UO professor wins Imagen Award for short film ‘La Serenata’

Screen shot from the film 'La Serenata'

Ernesto Javier Martínez, an associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of Oregon, won a prestigious Imagen Award for a short film he wrote, “La Serenata.”

“La Serenata,” directed by Adelina Anthony, is based on Martínez’s children’s book called “Cuando Amamos Cantamos,” or “When We Love Someone We Sing to Them.” It’s a bilingual book about a boy who loves another boy and about the importance of the Mexican serenata tradition.

Ernesto Martínez with co-winnersThe Imagen Awards have been called the “Latino Golden Globes” and have featured well-known people in the entertainment industry such as Guillermo Del Toro, Salma Hayek and Gina Rodriguez.

"Winning the Imagen Award for best short film is an enormous honor, in large part because it brings national attention to issues facing Latino families today about how to best care for the queer children in their lives,” Martínez said. “It was also a bit of surprise because Adelina Anthony, the director of 'La Serenata,' won last year’s Imagen Award for best short film as well. We didn’t know if we would win two years in a row."

“La Serenata” has also won the Jury Award for best short film at the 32nd annual Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival, the Audience Award for best short film at the San Francisco International Women of Color Film Festival, and the Silver Award for best child actor at the Independent Shorts Awards.

For more information, read this Around the O story about Martínez and his work.