Breaking the Mold: 34th CHICAGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL
12 April 2018
The 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival Breaks Stereotypes
The 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival is happening now from April 5th to the 19th at the AMC River East 21 Theatres. The festival is produced every April by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, a pan-Latino, nonprofit, multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to developing, promoting and increasing awareness of Latino culture by presenting a wide variety of art forms. Like the Asian American Showcase, which we covered earlier this week, this Festival enriches Chicago’s cultural scene by promoting positive images of Latinos, breaking stereotypes and bringing people together to experience Latino cultures. Since its launch in 1985 with an audience of 500, the Festival now attracts more than 35,000, taking its place as the largest and most comprehensive Latino film festival in the country.
There are over 100 feature and short films being shown in the Film Festival — hailing from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States — coupled with a robust roster of special events highlighting Latino culture. To foster deeper connections to these cinematic and cultural experiences, many of the screenings offer Q&A sessions in which audience members speak directly to the filmmakers. (There is also the opportunity to participate in the Audience Choice Awards by voting for your favorite feature, documentary and short).
Opening night was dedicated to Puerto Rico, where residents are still recovering from Hurricane Maria that hit the island last year. The evening was an occasion of much celebration, exuberance and pride as attendees were treated to the USA premiere of Broche De Oro: Comienzos by Raul Marchand Sanchez and the world premiere of Ivonne Coll’s short film, From Now On. Both directors were in attendance for the screenings. Broche De Oro is a rambunctious comedy that follows Rafael, Pablo and Anselmo, who meet at a home for the elderly, and build a foundation for friendship based on humor and the will to live. They recruit other residents to challenge the rules leading to chaos and hilarity for everyone they meet. From Now On is a 10-minute film, yet achieves deep engagement as two middle age Latinas from conservative families embark on life changing decisions when they stop along the Malibu Coast.
If you’ve missed the festival thus far, don’t worry; there’s a rich lineup scheduled, available on the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival’s website. The Summit by Santiago Mitre will be presented as part of the closing night ceremonies, and award-winning actor Ricardo Darín will be present to receive the Gloria Career Achievement Award. For 1000M residents who are curious culturalists, this incredible showcase is not to be missed!