Screenwriter Rick Najera Takes Home 2009 ALMA Award

Award-winning writer-actor-director-producer and playwright Rick Najera receives first ALMA Award as writer of feature film

By Susie Albin-Najera
Published on LatinoLA: September 21, 2009

Screenwriter Rick Najera Takes Home 2009 ALMA Award

Rick Najera, an award-winning writer-actor-director-producer and noted playwright with credits in film, television and theatre (including Broadway), took home his first ALMA Award tonight as writer for the feature film, "Nothing Like the Holidays." The award was given to Najera in the special achievement category of "Year Behind the Scenes" and presented by Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa.

The NCLR ALMA (American Latino Media Arts) Awards is the largest Latino awards show of its kind, promoting fair, accurate and balanced portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment industry. The star-studded event, hosted by Eva Longoria-Parker and George Lopez and presented by PepsiCo, included performances by Shakira, David Archuleta, Pitbull, Nelly Furtado and Sean Kingston. Presenters included Edward James Olmos, Rita Moreno, Roselyn Sanchez, and Kat Von D, among others, and special honors were presented to actor/producer Salma Hayek, boxer/philanthropist Oscar de la Hoya, and Raul Yzaguirre.

Other special achievement awardees for "Nothing Like the Holidays" included the film's director Alfredo de Villa and actor John Leguizamo. The feel-good dramatic/comedic holiday film, which was released nationally last December, is due out on DVD October 27, 2009.

Najera, a seasoned comedy writer (MADtv, In Living Color), is one of the most sought after comedic talents in the industry and one of the most powerful voices in the Latino world today, recognized twice by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the "100 Most Influential Latinos in America". Najera is the writer and creator of Latinologues, the longest running and only showcase of its kind for Latinos in America that made its Broadway debut in 2005 and in 2009 celebrates its 15th year of production.

Previous awards for Najera include two Writers Guild of America award nominations for "Outstanding Script for a Comedy/Variety Series," an ALMA Award nomination for "Best Writing in a Television Series," an Imagen Award for Latinologues for "Best Live Theatrical Production" and a 2009 Imagen Award nomination for his new one-man show, DADDY DIARIES: Diary of a Dad Man.

Najera's upcoming performances include Latinologues at Covina Center for the Performing Arts October 16, 17, 18, Covina, CA and DADDY DIARIES at Rialto Center for the Arts - Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA on October 22.

For more information on the ALMA Award, visit http://www.almaawards.com. For more information on Rick Najera, visit http://www.ricknajera.com.

About Susie Albin-Najera:
Susie Albin-Najera is a freelance writer and Hispanic public relations professional.
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