Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th until October 15th, as a Hispanic myself (Colombian and Spaniard), we celebrate our language and culture. From now until October 15th, I will feature some of the top actors, directors, singers and authors from almost every Hispanic country and their contribution to film, music and books.
While there are many talented individuals in each area, I will try to keep this list with only what I consider my top exponents of each category.
To start off, we need to begin our list with the Mother Land, Spain.
TOP SPANISH FILM DIRECTORS
You can’t talk about Spanish film directors without hearing someone mention Pedro Almodóvar. Almodóvar is famous by the use of strong female characters as well as particular style of narrative, humor and symbolism have made him the most famous Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel . Some of my favorite Spanish films are Volver, Talk To Her and All About My Mother. Almodóvar’s films brought attention to Spanish actors like Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz.
Juan Antonio Bayona
In recent horror films, most of them are full of jump scares, however it needs to be said that The Orphanage was an exception. Well acted, written and overall managed to creep out audiences, Juan Antonio Bayona’s film was praised internationally. Bayona’s upcoming projects include The Impossible, starring Ewan McGreggor and Naomi Watts, based on a family’s experience of the tsunami in 2004.
TOP SPANISH ACTORS/ACTRESSES
Arguably one of Spain’s most prominent actresses in Hollywood, Cruz’s film career has seen her portray characters in a variety of genres: from thrillers, adventure, musicals and drama, Penélope’s multifaceted ability has made her gain recognition at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. Some of my favorite films in which Penélope stars are Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Volver.
Another great actor who just happens to be Penélope Cruz’s husband, talk about Spain’s film power couple. Javier Bardem starred in films like No Country for Old Men and Biutiful, both which garnered critical acclaim. His upcoming projects include To The Wonder, a Terrence Malick film starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams. One of my favorite films in which Bardem starred was The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro).
One of the most famous faces in the Spanish speaking world. The voice behind Puss in Boots, the face behind The Mask of Zorro, yup, it’s Antonio Banderas. Beginning his career with Pedro Almodóvar, Banderas has appeared in films such as Interview With A Vampire, Desperado and most recently The Skin I Live In.
TOP SPANISH SINGERS
Come on, you know you love “Hero“. The king of Spanish pop, son of one of Spain’s most widely known singers, Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias sings in both Spanish and English, and has sold over 70 million albums worldwide. Some of my favorite songs by him are “Bailamos“, “Alguien Soy Yo” and “Quizás“. Please do not mind the fact that I’ve had a crush on him for as long as I can remember.
“Corazón Partío” was probably the heartbreak go-to song in the late 90s in all Spanish speaking countries. Almost 15 years later, let me just tell you that if you go to any Spanish speaking country bar and they play this song..it becomes an anthem. Alejandro Sanz has won 3 Grammy Awards and 15 Latin Grammy Awards throughout his career. Some of my favorite songs by him are “Amiga Mia” and “Looking For Paradise“.
He just released his latest single for his upcoming album titled “Se Vende“.
The queen of rancheras. While rancheras are a known Mexican music genre, Rocio Durcal was born in Spain and to this date with 65 million records sold, she is the best-selling Spanish solo artist. “Cancion de Juventud” both the film and the song made Rocio famous. Some of her biggest hits include ”Amor Eterno” and “Como Tu Mujer”
What are some of your favorite Spanish artists? Let us know in the comments!