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 barred documentary about the beloved international icon and role model, geoblocked to the residents of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, will be available to stream only on Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18.
Rita Moreno defied both her humble upbringing and relentless racism to become a celebrated and beloved actor, one of the rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) Award Winners of our time. Born into poverty on a Puerto Rican farm, Moreno and her seamstress mother immigrated to New York City when Moreno was five years old. After studying dance and performing on Broadway, Moreno was cast in a number of stereotyped ethnic roles. Despite becoming the first Latina actress to win an Academy Award for her role as Anita in West Side Story (1961), the studios continued to offer Moreno lesser roles. But Moreno’s talent and resilience triumphed over adversity as she broke numerous barriers in theater, film and television, paving the way for a new generation of artists. Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go ForItilluminates Moreno’s humor and grace, as well as her lesser-known struggles.
“Twenty years ago, on March 8 2001, we honored Rita with the Gloria Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the arts; she then delighted us with a wonderful night of music at the Black Orchid Classic Nightclub in Pipers Alley. It was a glorious and magical evening. Mariem’s documentary captures the honesty, the energy, the humility and the openness that has characterized Rita as an artist, as a person and as an advocate. Rita is still, to this day, a source of inspiration,” said Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago.
The mostly virtual 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival will showcase films from all over Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States from April 8-18. The Festival will once again be working with Eventive’svirtual platform and its online program will be available to residents of Illinois and, with some exceptions, the Midwest states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.