Acclaimed film director John Singleton, actor Michael Pena of World Trade Center, Wilmer Valderrama, of Fast Food Nation, and singer/songwriter Fanny Lu will be the featured guests at the Tenth Annual "Noche de Gala" dinner benefiting the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) in Washington, D.C., on October 3.

Film director, producer and screenwriter, John Singleton will receive the NHFA's 2006 Raul Julia Award for Excellence. Named after the late actor and activist, the award is presented each year to the individual or organization whose work most advances the presence of Latinos in television and/or film.

"With this project, he has truly given our community an opportunity to advance the visualization of contemporary Latino images, storylines and characters," said NHFA Chairman and Co-Founder Felix Sanchez. "Singleton's new business venture has provided a springboard for aspiring Latino talent and contemporary Latino films."

Michael Pena, star of Oliver Stone's riveting "World Trade Center," will receive NHFA's Horizon Award. The award was established last year as a way to recognize that rare rising star that shatters the status quo, redefines the environment and literally changes the direction of the industry.

Wilmer Valderrama, of Richard Linklater's film "Fast Food Nation," will also be receiving the Horizon Award. Valderrama is best known for his role as "Fez" on the hit series That 70's Show, but he will be seen making a splash on the big screen this year in five upcoming feature films and as creator, producer and host of the hit MTV show, "Yo Momma" which is currently filming its second season.

"The modernity of Valderrama's roles are defining a generation of Latino male images, and we applaud his dramatic and comedic dexterity," said Sanchez.