Simon Bolivar feature opens Latino Film Fest April 9

Edgar Ramirez as Simon Bolivar

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.

While the 2014 film opened worldwide — earning a $114 million gross — it played in only the three select US markets of New York, Los Angeles and Miami last fall, the distributor having entirely bypassed Chicago.

“The Liberator” is one of more than 120 features and short films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the US screening April 9-23, in their original language with English subtitles, at the AMC River East theatres.

“With this opening, we celebrate Venezuela’s rich culture and the beginning of two weeks’ worth of innovative, thrilling and amazing films from the Latino diaspora,” says Pepe Vargas, founder and producer of the Chicago Latino Cultural Center and Film Festival producer.

Starring Edgar Ramirez (“Carlos”, “The Bourne Ultimatum”) as Simon Bolivar and featuring an international cast,“The Liberator” was Venezuela’s official entry for the 2015 Best Foreign Language Oscar and one of nine semi-finalists.

The story follows Bolivar from his youth as a privileged member of Venezuela’s aristocracy to his transformation as leader of Latin America’s independence movement against Spain, fighting more than 100 battles.

Director Alberto Arvelo and actress Rudy Rodriguez (whose latest film “The House at the End of Time” is an official selection of the Festival) are scheduled to attend the screening and reception.

Throughout the Festival’s two week run, it will host some 70 directors, actors, producers and writers from all over Latin America and the United States.

Opening Night/Night of Venezuela at the AMC River East starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $85 general admission, $70 for ILCC members and include the screening and reception with food, libation and live entertainment at the Embassy Suites Hotel next door. Cocktail attire encouraged.

Purchase tickets here.  

The evening is sponsored by CITGO.