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. Salom?n Carmona, who financed the under-$100,000 budget, plays a hit man who comes out of retirement to track down a serial killer before the killer can reach Carmona’s own family.
Islas shot simultaneous Spanish- and English-language versions to capitalize on Latino and Anglo markets. Joe Passarelli shot on 16mm in late 2003. Diana Romero produced through her I-Media Entertainment.
A native of Uruguay, Islas came to Chicago when his film “Mala Sangre” (“Bad Blood”) screened at the Latino Film Festival in 1996. His “Hacienda el Amor?Brujo” showed at the 2002 CLFF. His mini-series “El Amor Brujo” was released on DVD nationwide in January.
An editor for Ch. 20, Islas also premieres his horror film “Nightfangs” at the Chicago Horror Film Festival this April.
“Para Matar a un Asesino” screens Sunday, April 10 at 9 p.m., April 19 at 7 p.m., and April 21 at 9 p.m. at Landmark’s Century Center, 2828 N. Clark. See www.alphaflicks.com.
Marisol Torres’ “Boricua” is an ensemble portrait of her native Humboldt Park neighborhood, teaming with music and class tensions that culminate in violence at the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
“The main motivation was to show that there is so much more to Latinos than gangs and drugs,” Torres said. “The film and television industry have done a great job of creating those stereotypes.”
“Boricua” screened at the Tribeca, Chicago, UrbanWorld and New York Latino film festivals last year, drawing comparisons to “Do the Right Thing.”
Executive producer was Richard Sweren, an executive producer on “Law & Order.” Sam Sanders produced. Christopher Rejano shot on Super 16mm in summer 2002.
It screens April 16 at 9 p.m. at Facets Multi-Media, 1517 W. Fullerton, and April 19 at 9:15 p.m. at Landmark. See www.boricuamovie.com.
“The Bulls of Suburbia” by Alex LeMay of Taproot Productions, supplied the Super 35mm bullfighting footage for “Seabiscuit.”
The documentary follows LeMay on a bullfighting odyssey to California, Mexico, and finally Spain, where he lived as a child. LeMay confronts alcoholism and the death of his father as he delves deeper into the world of Spain’s national sport.
“Bulls” screened at the Santa Fe, Filmstock, Festival Cine Latino, Malibu, and Boston Latino festivals. LeMay said he has courted interest from broadcasters.
“The Bulls of Suburbia” screens April 10 at 6:45 p.m. at Landmark, and April 14 at 7 p.m. at Facets. See www.taprootproductions.com.
Tickets for festival screenings are $10, $9 for students, seniors and disabled, $8 for ILCC/Film Center members. Passes for 10 admissions are $80, $70 for members. For a complete schedule see www.latinoculturalcenter.org/filmfest or call the festival hotline at 312/431-1330.