Siskel to use $194K grant to engage Latinos in film

The Oscar-nominated Brazilian animated feature, “Boy in the World,” kicks off the Gene Siskel Film Center’s new initiative: To engage Chicago’s large Latino community in identifying the theatre as their film Center and to ensure its programming is relevant to them.

The initiative was activated by a three-year, $194,289 grant provided by the Chicago-based Reva and David Logan FoundationIt will cover the areas of advocacy, programming, partnerships and emerging local filmmakers.

GSFC’s goal is to minimally increase Latino attendance by 11% and to grow its Latino Advisory Board participation by 2% in the next three years.  The goals could be achieved sooner as Chicago is home to 1.9 million Latinos, representing 29.1% of the population and Latinos are the US’ biggest movie-goers.

The grant will enable the Film Center to hire an outreach consultant, with a deep understanding of and strong ties to Chicago’s Latino community; to forge partnerships with key cultural organizations, Latino media, private and public high schools, and Chicago Public Library branches serving Latinos in order to introduce them to GSFC programming both at the movie theater and within the community.

In thanking the Logan Foundation, GSFC Executive Director Jean de St. Aubin said, “Our international cinema offerings, in particular, are curated to connect individuals to their culture and to broaden one’s worldview.  And most importantly, we bring people together for high-quality entertainment.” 

The Latino movie, “Boy in the World,” is about “Everychild” boy, a vulnerable stick-figure who journeys from the peaceful countryside to the chaotic city in search of his father amid Brazil’s working poor.