January 24th, 2012
11:33 AM ET
When Oscar season rolls around, the biggest debate often happens over who was snubbed by the Academy.
But the annual round of nominations also offers something else: A mainstream spotlight for films you might've overlooked when they were released.
Demián Bichir, who picked up an Oscar nod for best actor in Chris Weitz's "A Better Life," is hoping that's the case for their project.
"A Better Life," about an East L.A. gardener trying his hardest to set his son on the straight-and-narrow while seeking ways to offer him the titular "better life," opened in limited release in the States last June.
Thanks to his recognition from the Academy, Bichir tells CNN that he hopes this will encourage others to learn more about the story.
“I'm overwhelmed [to have] my name among those incredible actors," Bichir tells us in a statement. "This could have never happened if Chris Weitz had not been the head of this film. He is my brother and I thank him deeply."
Bichir continues, "Hopefully more and more people will jump into iTunes and Netflix to see our film. That will be the biggest reward we could get. I dedicate this nomination to those 11 million human beings who make our lives easier and better in the US.”
If you've seen "A Better Life," tell us what you thought of the film in the comments.
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