The 38th Chicago Latino Film Festival announced today the winners and runners-up for its Audience Choice Awards. The slate of 50 features and 36 shorts from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States, included an array of premieres, stories of underrepresented communities, and an increase in LGBTQIA+ films. Even though the festival is a non-competitive … Continue reading “Two feature debuts take top honors at Chicago Latino Film Festival”
Street Heroines, directed by Valiant Pictures’ Alexandra Henry, will return to screen April 30th as an official selection at the annual Chicago Latino Film Festival. The festival spans April 21 thru May 1. Guests can attend the event to experience the magic in person or virtually. Passes include access to festival films, panels, and parties. … Continue reading “Street Heroines to screen as official selection at Chicago Latino Film Festival”
As the countdown for the 38th Chicago Latino Film Festival, presented by Corona Extra, begins, organizers unveiled the list of films that will receive their World, North American, U.S. and Midwest Premieres at the Festival, led by the locally produced Bye Bye Chicago. The Festival this year will feature two World Premieres, five North American … Continue reading “Bye Bye Chicago world premiere at 38th Chicago Latino Film Festival”
The 38th Chicago Latino Film Festival announced two special screenings at Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St.: Nicolás Postioglione’s feature debut Immersion on Sunday, April 24th and the U.S. Premiere of Javier Espada’s new documentary Buñuel, a Surrealist Filmmaker on Thursday, April 28th. Both events start at 6 p.m. with a reception preceding the screening … Continue reading “38th Chicago Latino Film Festival screens two films at Instituto Cervantes”
The 38th Chicago Latino Film Festival, presented by Corona Extra, announced today its selections for their Opening Night and Centerpiece screenings at ChiTown Movies Drive-In, 2343 S. Throop St. The Festival opens Thursday, April 21st with Abner Benaim’s heartbreaking tale about Panama’s class and racial divides, Plaza Catedral. The Festival’s Centerpiece selection, Ángeles Cruz’s feature … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Festival Opening Night and Centerpiece screenings”
The 38th Chicago Latino Film Festival, presented by Corona Extra, announced its selections for their Closing and Late Night screenings at ChiTown Movies Drive-In, 2343 S. Throop St., Saturday, April 30th. The Festival closes with the Midwest premiere of Chilean director Francisca Alegría’s feature debut The Cow who Sang a Song into the Future starring … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Festival late night screenings and closing film”
38th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) April 21 – May 1, announces the first wave of titles from close to 100 feature and short length films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States confirmed for the event. This first round of titles includes two films fresh out of the Sundance Film Festival: Eva … Continue reading “38th Chicago Latino Film Festival announces first wave of titles”
The Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) announced today that Polish graphic artist Dominika Czerniak-Chojnacka, winner of the 2017 Chicago Latino Film Festival Poster Contest, is the artist behind the design of the official poster for its 38th edition. The poster will be the face of the Festival, as it will be on the cover of … Continue reading “38th Chicago Latino Film Festival poster contest winner is revealed”
The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago announced that the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival will shift to a virtual format and will take place from September 18-27. The Festival was originally scheduled for April 16-30 at the AMC River East 21 Theatres, but was postponed on March 13th when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered … Continue reading “The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival goes virtual”
The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC), producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF), is proud to announce Turkish artist and graphic designer Yağmur Genç as the winner of the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival Poster Contest. The ILCC received 928 submissions for this year’s contest from Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Jamaica, Mexico, The … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Festival unveils 2020 poster”
The two-week event launches on March 28 with Icían Bollaín’s “Yuli” followed by a “Noche Cubana” celebration The 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) will take place March 28-April 11 at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St. and will feature over 100 feature-length and short films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and … Continue reading “The 35th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival”
The 21st Chicago Latino Film Festival will screen 58 feature films from 20 countries and 31 shorts from 13 countries at more than a dozen venues across the city and suburbs.
The Festival’s Opening Night Gala April 8 will be followed by Silvio Caiozzi’s Chilean art world drama “Cachimba.” Caiozzi and producer Guadalupe Bornand will appear. At Northwestern’s Thorne Auditorium, Chicago Ave. and Lake Shore Drive. 6 p.m. Screening and gala, $65, $50 for International Latino Cultural Center members. Screening only, $20, members $15.
THE CHICAGO LATINO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL boasts four Chicago features among the lineup of 59 features and 31 shorts at its 23rd annual fest, April 13-25.
Jaime (“Dusk”) Mariscal’s second feature “Welcome Back To Barrio” follows a college kid (Ramses Jimenez) who returns to his old neighborhood and gets reeled into a gang conflict.
With Tony Ramirez, Carmen Cenko and Phil Camacho. David J. Miller of Mindlight Films produced and co-wrote with Mariscal. April 15 at 4 p.m. and April 17 at 10 p.m. at Facets Multi-Media, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave.
Dalia Tapia has just returned from Mexico with the last of the footage for her Super 16mm feature “Buscando a Leti/In Search of Leti,” which has its world premiere this April at the Chicago Latino Film Festival.
“I’ve already been approached by a couple distributors, here and in Mexico,” said Tapia as she dove into final stages of postproduction.
“The market is there. The positive response I’ve been getting from people in both countries is what propels me forward.
|Antonio Franceschi (left) directs “Urban Poet.”
Among films from across the Americas that screened at the 19th Chicago Latino Film Festival was one feature film made in Chicago: TV producer Antonio Franceschi’s “Urban Poet.”
Gloricelly Martinez-Franceschi stars in “Urban Poet,” the Latino Film Festival’s only Chicago-made feature.
The Chicago Film Critics Association, the Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics group that celebrates the art of film and film criticism, today announces the Audience Award winners following the 9th Chicago Critics Film Festival. Audiences selected Closing Night feature presentation I LOVE MY DAD as winner of the Audience Award for narrative features; the film screened to … Continue reading “Chicago Film Critics Association announces 2022 Audience Award Winners”
Reel Black Filmmakers, a program of the Community Film Workshop of Chicago, will conclude this year’s South Side Short Film Series on Wednesday, March 23rd from 7-8:30pm via Zoom with films about families. From the mother and daughter charting a successful business path to a father and daughter’s journey across the globe to find their … Continue reading “Reel Black Filmmakers’ final segment of South Side Short Film Series”
The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC), producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) and the Chicago Latino Music Series, and its Executive Director Pepe Vargas today announce the appointment of Mateo Mulcahy to the recently created position of Deputy Executive Director. In this new role, Mulcahy will be in charge of promoting … Continue reading “Mateo Mulcahy appointed Deputy ED of ILCC & Chicago Latino Film Fest”
The 63rd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards will be a virtual presentation held on Sunday, December 5 at 7:00 pm. Comedian Pat McGann, the South Side Chicago native who hosted the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards in 2016 and 2020, returns to emcee the show this year and legendary Bob Newhart is expected to make a guest appearance. The virtual presentation … Continue reading “List of nominees for the 63rd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards Dec 5”
NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA), supported by WarnerMedia OneFifty, has announced the final selection of its NewNarratives artist grant program. Chicago filmmaker Jim Vendiola has been awarded the NewNarratives inaugural grant for 2021. The program is committed to identifying one winner who would be awarded a grant ranging between $10,000 and $100,000, to be determined based … Continue reading “Chicago filmmaker Jim Vendiola awarded NewNarratives inaugural grant”
ViacomCBS announced the seven writers selected to participate in the ViacomCBS Writers Mentoring Program for 2021-2022. Currently in its 18th year and helmed by the ViacomCBS Office of Global Inclusion, the program provides mentorships, access and opportunity for writers. The eight-month mentoring program pairs writers with ViacomCBS executive mentors, who help them develop a new piece … Continue reading “Chicagoan Margaret Lebron chosen for ViacomCBS Writers Mentoring Program”
The 11th Annual Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (BWiFF) returns this weekend with nightly screenings of the festival’s 2021 official selection films running July 24-30 at Chicago Filmmakers (1326 W. Hollywood Avenue, Chicago). Blue Whiskey will present over 30 films with character-driven stories from around the globe during the in-person event, including seven outstanding indie films made … Continue reading “Annual Blue Whiskey Film Festival opens this weekend”
Chicago creatives are the recipients of 15 Cannes Lions International Festival Awards, including the Titanium Lion – the top creative award in the world for the “Boards of Change” work. In addition to the awarded Cannes Lions, the City of Chicago was recognized at The One Show 2021, receiving one Grand Prix, four gold, four … Continue reading “Chicago creatives bring home 15 Lions for their city”
The 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival announces the winners and runners-up for the Audience Choice Awards. The Audience Choice Award for Best Feature went to The Heist of the Century, Argentinian director Ariel Winograd’s heist comedy about the most famous and audacious bank robbery in Argentina’s history starring Guillermo Francella (The Secret in Their Eyes) … Continue reading “37th Chicago Latino Film Audience Choice Award wins”
The 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival, presented by Corona Extra, announced today its Centerpiece presentation of Mariem Pérez Riera’s Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It at ChiTown Movies Drive-In, 2343 S. Throop St. on Monday, April 12. The gates open at 6:00 pm with the film scheduled to start at 7:30 pm. A virtual screening of this no holds … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest adds Riera’s film Rita Moreno”
The Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals (CoSAFF), a first-of-its-kind event to bring together seven established South Asian film festivals from the US and Canada, announces its industry programming lineup. The virtual festival is scheduled for October 3-17, 2020, which is entirely free to view for all audiences. CoSAFF 2020 is powered by Vimeo’s OTT … Continue reading “Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals program lineup”
The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago announced today the winners and runner-ups for the AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS of the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival. The festival was held virtually from Sept. 18 to Sept. 27 in Chicago and throughout the State of Illinois. In total, the Festival presented 44 feature and 38 shorts. Even though CLFF is … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest announces audience choice wins”
The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) announced today the launch of LALIFF’s Inclusion Fellowship Series. This newly established program will focus on building a more inclusive and equitable industry for all members of the Latinx community. Each year, the fellowship will champion an underrepresented group from within the Latinx community. For its inaugural … Continue reading “LA Latino Film Fest, Netflix launch Latinx Fellowship”
Chicago Latino Film Festival announces their lineup for their 36th anniversary. The festival will shift to a virtual format and will take place from September 18-27. Since the beginning, the Chicago Latino Film Festival has consistently presented a significant number of features and short films that throw a spotlight on the continent’s diverse indigenous cultures. Until recently, most of … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest announces lineup of films”
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced the recipients of the 2020 CityArts Program grants. This year, the CityArts Program is awarding general operating grants between $2,000 to $30,000 – and special project grants ranging from $2,500 to $56,200 – to 191 nonprofit organizations for a total … Continue reading “City of Chicago awards $2m in CityArts Program grants”
Black Harvest Film Festival film submissions due September 1. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center will present its 26th annual Black Harvest Film Festival virtually from November 6 through November 30. Beginning Friday, November 6, this year’s festival will offer an engaging, fully-online experience, featuring the Chicago premieres of … Continue reading “Black Harvest Film Festival accepting film submissions”
Come and enjoy an amazing line-up for Female Filmmaker Night. The ChiTown Drive-in opens at 7:00pm and the screening begins at 8:15pm, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. In partnership with Chi Town Movies and The Gene Siskel Film Center, the Midwest Film Festival announces that they are resuming their 2020 season programming with … Continue reading “Midwest Film Festival resumes with a night at the drive-in”
Pepe Vargas, the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival sadly announced the postponement of the 36th annual festival. Due to the concerns for the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the festival originally scheduled to open on April 16 through April 30 at AMC River East 21 Theatres, will be pushed to … Continue reading “SEE UPDATE: the Chicago Latino Film Fest is postponed”
CLFFMÁS will initially feature short films chosen from the last five years of the Festival, with more added every month The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC), producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) among other events, announced today the launch of their streaming platform CLFFmás. Created in partnership with BTEC, an organization … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest launches streaming platform”
Event will unite nearly 40 festivals to “better understand our collective work as an industry” The first-ever Chicago Film Festival Symposium will bring together Chicago-area film festival stakeholders for an industry-wide discussion addressing shared challenges and opportunities. Continental breakfast, lunch, and cocktail reception are included with the $20 registration fee. Learn more and register here. … Continue reading “2019 Chicago Film Festival Symposium”
40-minute doc about classic North Carolina theater had its premiere on April 6 Longtime Cutters editor and Chicago filmmaker Michael Lippert has debuted a new documentary, Reeves: a Home for Music, at RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Lippert, who made festival noise three years ago with Miriam is Going to Mars, focuses … Continue reading “Filmmaker Michael Lippert back with new documentary”
Women-directed films win audience choice best feature and best documentary for the second year in a row Icíar Bollaín’s Yuli and Gretchen Hilebrand’s Decade of Fire honored as 2019 winners The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago announced today the winners and runner-ups of the 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival and for a second … Continue reading “Female filmmakers wow crowd at Chicago Latino Fest”
Dominican “Broken Island” and Chilean “Petit Frère” represent Haiti and its role in Latino culture, cinema, and politics. Last weekend, the 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) screened a pair of films that focus on the Haitian experience, the Dominican Republic’s La isla rota (Broken Island) and the Chilean Petiè Frère. Reel Chicago sat down … Continue reading “Haiti in focus at Chicago Latino Film Fest”
“Captain Marvel’s” Algenis Pérez to appear with his film about youth, revenge, love, and a tragic era of Haitian history Algenis Pérez, who plays the character Att-lass in Captain Marvel, will attend the North American Premiere of his new film, La Isla Rota (Broken Island), at the Chicago Latino Film Festival on Saturday, March 30 … Continue reading “‘La Isla Rota’ brings celebs to Latin Film Fest”
Consolidated series presents premieres, partner screenings, special guests and sixteen films, from across the Asian continent Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Eight, the spring film series presenting sixteen films from across Asia, running March 12 through April 24, 2019. The schedule represents a consolidated schedule, with more … Continue reading “Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 12 – April 24”
Rome-based Polish artist Michal Tadeusz Golanski’s design celebrates women’s contribution to the art form The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC), producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF), is proud to announce the winner of the 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival Poster Contest: Rome-based Polish graphic artist Michal Tadeusz Golanski. A graduate … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest unveils poster for 35th run”
The “most thought-provoking program to date in the Windy City” will light up Facets Cinematheque June 8-14, 2018 New York — 14 May 2018 To celebrate its 16th Anniversary in Chicago, the African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) — hosted by Facets Cinematheque and presented by ArtMattan Productionsts from June 8 to 14 — … Continue reading “The African Diaspora International Film Festival”
Beginning June 5th, the Millennium Park Summer Film series will enhance the Tuesday night screenings that have become one of Chicago’s most beloved outdoor traditions. According to a press release issued by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the movies will be “programmed in collaboration with a local independent film festival … Continue reading “Millennium Park Summer Film Series”
Stephen King calls the Del Toro-approved fairy tale directed by Issa López, “one terrific film, both tough and touching.” ”My name is Pedro” and “Cease Game” win for best documentary and best short (Chicago — 25 April 25) – The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago announces the winners and runner-ups of the … Continue reading ““Tigers Are Not Afraid” wins Latino audience choice”
The Chicago-based production company – Iconoclast Films – shot En Algun Lugar in Chicago and Mexico. It has already screened at eleven festivals and has taken home major awards such as Best Foreign Feature and Best Director at the London Independent Film Awards 2018, Best LGBTQ Feature and Best Producer (Aric Jackson) at the Oniros … Continue reading “Chicago/Mexico’s “En Algun Lugar” reflects the times”
Opening night of the Chicago Latino Film Festival delivered every sight, sound, taste, and emotion that a cinematic soiree should. Beginning with the Chicago premiere of writer / director Raúl Marchand’s hilarious and nostalgic Broche de Oro: Comienzos, the evening showcased all the vibrancy and excitement that makes Latino culture such an excellent part of … Continue reading “Opening night excitement at Chicago Latino Film Fest”
Chicago’s Yelyna De Leon produced, acted in, and wrote the script for a teen slasher that will screen at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF). Titled Murder in the Woods, the English-language, U.S.-produced film was directed and produced by Mexican-born filmmaker Luis Iga. A Latin American film Murder in the woods has … Continue reading ““Murder in the Woods” at Chicago Latino Film Fest”
Over the past five decades, Pepe Vargas has lived on two continents, fled a military dictatorship, earned a law degree, worked as a busboy, and founded the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) and the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC). Along the way, he not only learned to appreciate multiculturalism, art, and politics, but … Continue reading “Chi Latino Fest’s Vargas on cinema, culture, and the wall”
The 34th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival poster is a testament to the universal power of art. Featuring a strip of film that runs like a sidewalk through a broken wall in a mountainous desert, the poster’s fresco style illustration communicates the same message that the event has made obvious for decades: Latin culture rocks. … Continue reading “Latino film fest poster is an artistic breakthrough”
Esteban is the story of a musically gifted ten-year-old Cuban boy who dreams of becoming a professional pianist. His hopes contradict those of his mother, a divorced street vendor who urges him towards a more practical path.
PANAVISION CAMERAS, which returned to Chicago after a 14-year absence last October, has completed its move into a 13,000-sq. ft. facility a block-long building at 1544 W. Carroll.
The company currently has six staffers and general manager Sharon Walker says they are in the process of hiring new employees. It supplied cameras to Fox’ upcoming “ABP” series that will premiere Feb. 6, “Exorcist” and has jobs ahead on a studio feature and commercials.
“Resilience,” a documentary from Robert Redford’s son, James, about a new cutting-edge brain science, showcased at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Saturday.
THE CHICAGO 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT is back for the 12th year the weekend of Aug. 26-28 to see who can produce the best short film in only 48 hours based on a genre, character, prop and line of dialog that will be provided.
For the second consecutive year, director / editor Jerry Vasilatos is staging and producing the event from his new office space at Cinespace.
NEW DISTRIBUTOR GRASSHOPPER FILM of LA has picked up VOD, digital and non-traditional rights to Maria Finitzo’s Kartemquin-produced feature doc, “In the Game.”
Filmmaker Alonzo Alcaraz’ first feature, a romantic comedy made for a micro-budget of $20,000 will be the only Chicago-made film screening at the Chicago Latino Film, Festival April 8-21.
Chicago-based illustrator, 25-year old Morgan Ramberg won the $1,000 cash prize from the 20th Annual Official Chicago Latino Film Festival Poster Contest and her poster will become the face of the festival, April 8-21.
WTTW/11 “CHICAGO TONIGHT” PRODUCERS overwhelmingly voted to become SAG-AFTRA members at a National Labor Relations Board election Dec. 18. They join 160,000 professionals in the national union.
The 31st Chicago Latino Film Festival’s Thursday, April 9, Opening Night / Night of Venezuela film marks the only US theatrical run for “The Liberator,” a rousing epic about Simon Bolivar, who fought for Latin America’s independence against the Spanish Empire.
The spotlight will be on the best of Chicago advertising March 11 when the Chicago Advertising Federation hosts its annual awards gala at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
The 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival, April 3-17 will showcase 74 features and 42 shorts, including three from Chicago directors, plus 11 Latino films that are Foreign Language Oscar winners or nominees.
“Law and Order’s” Dick Wolf, who’s here filming two NBC TV shows will be the keynote speaker at Sunday’s Chicago Film and Media Summit & Expo at the Cultural Center at 5 p.m. But be forewarned – his speech is open for registrants only so sign up to attend now.
Hometown girl Jane Lynch (Glee) is being honored as Comedia Extraordinaire at the Chicago Film Critics Association 24th Annual Awards Presentation Saturday, Feb. 9.
Muvico Theatres in Rosemont is the venue, touted as the “world’s premier movie experience” and built to replicate the Art Deco palaces of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
The emphasis of the April 1-14 Chicago Latino International Film Festival “is on new talent, with more than 20 features made by first time directors,” says Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the world-acclaimed event, now in its 27th year.
ANOTHER TV SERIES is set in Chicago but, like Shameless, The Good Wife and Mike and Molly, is not being filmed in Chicago. The location is Toronto, which all too often substitutes for our town.
Reel Chicago and national spinoff, Reel 360, are the trusted sources for news, information, industry trends, new campaigns, and the people behind the scenes in advertising, film, TV, music, digital, social and entertainment since 2004. Speak Directly to Industry Influencers and Potential Clients! Our audience includes: Agencies: Ad Agency Chief Creative Officers, Creative Directors, Heads … Continue reading “Advertise with REEL CHICAGO”
TAKING OVER THE REINS of the Independent Feature Project, Chicago’s 25-year old hub of indie filmmaking is Christy LeMaster, who has run IFP’s recent and successful fund-raising galas. She succeeds Ryan Jewell, who returned to his native Oklahoma City for family reasons.
LeMaster, who has a Masters in English from Truman State University, has a background in programming film festivals, starting with the True or False doc fest in Columbia, Mo.
The International Latino Cultural Center, which produces the Chicago Latino Film Festival, has partnered with Comcast to launch the Chicago Latino Filmmaker Program.
Last Friday, Comcast on Demand began carrying four-to-five-minute sample reels from six local filmmakers, all of them veterans of the festival and chosen by a selection committee of ILCC staff and board members.
EDUARDO LETAMENDI AND ARMANDO HERNANDEZ are two of the 12 feature filmmaking fellows attending the 2010 NALIP Latino Producers Academy in Santa Fe, New Mexico through Aug. 20.
Letamendi and Herndandez are co-writers of the family comedy “4 Days Until Christmas,” about a clan road tripping from Chicago to Mexico to see their ailing patriarch for the holidays.
Letamendi is attending the Academy as director, and Hernandez is attending as producer. NALIP provides mentors, SAG cast and crew to shoot scenes from the screenplay during the Academy.
ESA? MEL?NDEZ’ TIMELY DOC, “Immigrant Nation!?The Battle for the Dream” won the audience choice award for best documentary at the Chicago Latino Film Festival, which concluded last Friday.
“Immigrant Nation!” follows the movement for immigration reform set off by federal anti-immigrant legislation in 2006, and activist Elvira Arellano’s internationally famous defiance of a deportation order.
An audience of more than 35,000 is expected to attend the 16th Chicago Latino International Film Festival, April 16-29, called “the largest, oldest and best Latino film festival in the country.”
Seven locally made films are among only 16 U.S. selections out of the 100 films culled from in an array of genres reflecting the diversity of Latino culture in Latin America, Portugal, Spain and the U.S.
They include an immigration documentary, and noir thriller, a pair of short gang dramas, and a pair of short docs on Chicago’s Latino community.
An estimated audience of 30,000 is expected to attend the 24th International Latino Film Festival, April 4-16 ? the nation’s largest cultural event, says founder Pepe Vargas.
Opening night spotlights the Spanish film, “El Prado de las Estrella” (“The Field of Stars”), at the AMC River East 21 Theaters, followed by a party at the River East Art Center.
ACTOR MATT DILLON will portray Leonard Chess, the legendary founder of the South Side Chicago blues label Chess Records, in Sony/BMG Film’s “Cadillac Records.”
Written and directed by Darnell Martin (“Prison Song”), filming of the 1950’s story is set to begin in January in New Jersey and Chicago. Jeffrey Wright also stars.
Chess, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, scoured the South, checking out the various blues scenes and selling records from the back of his Cadillac.
Director Jaime Mariscal’s first feature, “Welcome Back to the Barrio,” won the Best Chicago Made film in the just-ended Latino Film Festival.
The story is about college student, Christian, who returns home to the “barrio” to visit his family. But when he reunites with his childhood friend, Angel, the two embark on a night of fun that will change their lives.
Mariscal wrote the screenplay with David J.
A dozen Latino filmmakers have set out to make Chicago a better place for their fellow Latinos to make movies.
Juan J. Lopez and his colleagues have launched the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP).
Founded in 1999 and boasting chapters in 11 cities, NALIP is dedicated to supporting Latinos working throughout the film industry.
The Women in Film Foundation has given writer-producer Rosie Vargas Goldberg the final push to complete her debut feature “Bloom.”
The foundation chose “Bloom,” formerly known as “Hopeless,” as one of nine projects nationwide to receive a Film Finishing Fund grant, an undisclosed amount paid for by General Motors.
Vargas Goldberg said the grant will cover the final HD master, DigiBeta screening tapes and festival submissions.
“It certainly helps,” she said. “The Women in Film Foundation thinks I’m doing something good.
Juan Frausto’s fourth feature, the immigration drama “La Migra,” has its world premiere April 8 at the Chicago Latino Film Festival.
“La Migra” (Mexican slang for the Border Patrol) will be released on DVD this year from urban specialty distributor Maverick Entertainment of Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Maverick hired Frausto to direct “La Migra” after it picked up his gang actioner “Once Upon a Time in the Hood,” which screened at last year’s Chicago Latino Film Fest. Maverick released the picture on video July 7.
Four films by Chicago directors are among the 58 features from 20 countries presented at the 21st Chicago Latino Film Festival April 9-21 at more than a dozen venue across the city and suburbs.
Juan Frausto’s “La Migra” and Ricardo Islas “Para Matar a un Asensino” are world premieres.
Returning after successful festival runs are Marisol Torres’ “Boricua” and Alex LeMay’s “The Bulls of Suburbia.”
For “Para Matar a un Asesino” Islas, like Frausto, brought Mexican screen stars to the U.S. for his production.
Taproot Productions’ bullfighting documentary “The Bulls of Suburbia” has charged its way through the festival circuit this year, drawing broadcaster interest at the Santa Fe Film Festival, where the film was nominated for best documentary.
“A cable broadcast entity was very interested,” said director Alex LeMay. “Hopefully we’re going to see this thing televised.”
Chicago’s three Tony Award winning theatre companies are ramping up the star power for the opening shows of the season. The smallest of the three troupes, Victory Gardens, offers a Sept. 20-Oct. 24 run of a new comedy, “The Family Gold,” by Annie Reiner, daughter of Carl and sister of Rob. She ought to know what’s funny. Stage, film and TV veteran Harold Gould stars.
A few blocks away, Steppenwolf Theatre Company offers John Mahoney (himself a Tony Award winner) and actor/author Tracy Letts (“Killer Joe”) in Ronald Harwood’s “The Dresser,” Sept. 25-Nov. 14.
“RUNAWAY DIVAS,” Monika Szewerniak and Aleksandra Hodowany’s locally made feature-length modeling industry satire has its world premiere Friday, July 30-Aug. 5 at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Szewerniak and Hodowany will attend the July 30-31 and Aug. 1 screenings along with DP/co-producer Christopher Collins and other cast and crew. Screenings are 8 p.m. July 30, Aug. 3 and 5, 7:30 p.m. July 31, 3:15 p.m. Aug. 1, 6 p.m. Aug. 2, and 6:15 p.m. Aug. 4.
Producer Rogelio Gazga’s SPI-TV Media and Andres Lombana’s Mas Communications have launched a high school film production contest to encourage kids, especially minorities, to “get their creative juices flowing,” Gazga said.
The program, called “From Pitch-to-Screen: A DV Film and Screenwriting Competition,” was initiated with the cooperation of the Chicago Board of Education at 10 Chicago high schools with TV studios on campus. Next year, said Gazga, “Pitch-to-Screen” will become part of a school-wide Education to Careers Program that exposes students to various career opportunities.
The highly touted Task Force for the film industry that DCEO director Jack Lavin assured would help lead filmmaking to new heights has been named. As a matter of fact, two weekly meetings at the State of Illinois building have already been held and committees formed.
It’s difficult, however, to determine the rationale for the appointment of some of the 22-members of the Task Force. While each has expertise in his own field ? few can top the credentials of AFL-CIO president Margaret Blackshere, for instance ?
Filmmaker Tadeo Garcia likes subverting expectations.
Diana Romero and her husband Jim Griffith were driving across country in March when the war in Iraq began.
Diana Romero and her husband Jim Griffith were driving across country in March when the war in Iraq began.