1997 Selena biopic selected to be in National Film Registry

TEXAS — Every year the Library of Congress selects 25 films for preservation in the National Film Registry. The films are chosen on the basis of “cultural, historic or aesthetic” significance, and this year a landmark film with strong Texas ties has been selected for inclusion.

“Selena” is a 1997 biopic that chronicles the life of Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez and turned singer and actress Jennifer Lopez into a star.

The film also stars Edward James Olmos and Constance Marie. “Selena” opened March 21, 1997, to mostly positive reviews and went on to gross $35.5 million domestically during its theatrical run.

Films are selected by members of the National Film Board and experts, but the public has some say in the process. Among the champions for the inclusion of “Selena” this year was Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, who is a frequent critic of the lack of representation of Hispanics in Hollywood movies and television shows.

The congressman on Twitter said he led the Hispanic Caucus in recommending “Selena” for inclusion, and singled out the film’s director, Gregory Nava, for praise.

I led @HispanicCaucus in recommending ‘Selena’ for the @librarycongress’ National Film Registry.

For too long Latino and Latina filmmakers’ contribution to the industry have been overlooked and underrepresented.

Glad to see Gregory Nava’s biopic preserved in American history. https://t.co/6o73hdWS7b

— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) December 14, 2021

In order to be considered a film must be at least 10 years old.

This year’s inductees represent a broad array of genres, everything from animated films to horror staples and music documentaries.

In addition to “Selena,” selected for inclusion in 2021 were director Wes Craven’s imaginative 1984 slasher film “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Star Wars Episode VI — Return of the Jedi,” director Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” Jonathan Demme’s 1984 concert film “Stop Making Sense,” which captured American rock band Talking Heads at the height of their popularity, and John Waters’ tasteless but beloved 1972 cult comedy, “Pink Flamingos.”

Other additions include the 2008 computer animated “WALL-E,” the 1971 documentary “The Murder of Fred Hampton,” and “Richard Pryor: Live in Concert,” which captured the legendary comic in performance at Long Beach, California’s Terrace Theatre in 1978.

The National Film Registry was founded in 1988. A complete list of films including in the registry is available here.