Mexican-born actress Kate del Castillo, who unveiled some of this year's Platino Prizes for Ibero-American Cinema nominees, says these awards were at the same level as the Oscars.
Castillo and fellow actors Miguel Angel Silvestre, Angie Cepeda and Edward James Olmos announced the Platino nominations at a ceremony on Wednesday at The Beverly Hilton hotel here, Efe reported.
"I see the Platinos as extremely important," the 47-year-old star of the highly successful "La reina del sur" (Queen of the South) said in an interview with Efe.
"These prizes are at the same level as the Oscars, and we're just beginning. It's an incredible platform they're giving us to see the wonders of Ibero-American cinema," she added.
The fourth Platino Prizes gala will take place on July 22 at Madrid's La Caja Magica stadium.
"It's the only way we have to bring together Ibero-American film professionals: actors, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers... We don't know one another, so this event is terrific. If not for these awards, I would never have become aware of a lot of wonderful films being screened around the world," Del Castillo, who has lived in the US for many years and is also an American citizen, added.
"A Monster Calls", an English-language fantasy drama film directed by Juan Antonio Bayona that tells of a boy who is helped by a humanoid tree in coping with his mother's terminal illness, leads the way with seven Platino nominations, including Best Director and Best Cinematography.
"Neruda," a biopic about Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, was second with five nominations, while "Desde alla" (From Afar), "El ciudadano ilustre" (The Distinguished Citizen), "El hombre de las mil caras" (The Man with Thousand Faces), "Julieta" and "La delgada linea amarilla" (The Thin Yellow Line) received four.