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The Chicago Latino Film Festival celebrates its first quarter-century

The Chicago Latino Film Festival celebrates its first quarter-century with over 100 feature and short films in an array of genres-fiction, documentary, animation, drama and comedy. The Festival runs April 17-29 and is considered the oldest and most comprehensive Latino film festival in the country.  The film selections continue to reflect the great diversity of the Latino culture from the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Portugal, and Spain.

"I truly believe the Festival is a jewel for the City of Chicago that has contributed greatly to its positioning as a world-class city.  For the past 25 years, I've committed myself to sharing the Latino culture with Chicagoans by highlighting the work of our artists and making a stand against discrimination.  At this moment, I can proudly speak on behalf of everyone who has helped me, that we have a great achievement to celebrate!" expressed Pepe Vargas, Founder and Executive Director of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago and Director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival.

The two-week Festival features special segments: Made in USA, Women in Film and LGBT.  During the majority of screenings, the audience will have the opportunity to participate in discussions with local and visiting filmmakers.


Made In USA - Some of the best Chicago-crafted films by Latino filmmakers presented include: Silent Shame directed by Tadeo Garcia, Rudy Lozano directed by Victoria Cervantes and A Forgotten Injustice directed by Vicente Serrano.

Women in Film - For the first time in the Festival's history, over 30 films are directed by women. Obscure Camera (Argentina) directed by Maria Victoria Menis, O, Pai, O (Brazil) directed by Monique Ganderberg, Stars of the Estuary (Puerto Rico) directed by Sonia Fritz, and Titon, from Havana to Guantanmera (Cuba) directed by Mirtha Ibarra, among many others.  

LGBT - We proudly showcase lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) films and celebrate the important diverse artistic contributions LGBT talent make to the Latino film industry. Inconvenient Friends (Chile), Hermaphrodite (Dominican Republic) and Chef's Special (Spain) among others. 


In keeping with tradition, a series of special events include: Opening Night Gala, Noche Mexicana, A Night of Spain and Closing Night Gala.  

OPENING NIGHT GALA - Friday, April 17, 2009

Sponsored by Univision Chicago, the Festival kicks-off in grand style with the Chilean box office hit,

El Regalo (The Gift).  This refreshing comedy stars Nelson Villagra as Francisco, a depressed widower who is given the gift of a short vacation by his best friends. The trip will yield unexpected turns that will change their lives forever.  Directors Cristian Galaz and Andrea Ugalde will be in attendance. A cocktail reception and live entertainment will follow the screening.

Film:           6:00 p.m. - AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois, Chicago

Reception: 8:00 p.m. - River East Art Center, 435 E. Illinois, Chicago

Tickets:      $75 General/$60 ILCC Member 

NOCHE MEXICANA - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sponsored by the Mexican Tourism Office/Consulado de Mexico en Chicago, Noche Mexicana begins with a mariachi cocktail reception followed by the special screening of one of the most widely acclaimed and expensive films in Mexican cinema history, Arráncame la vida  (Tear This Heart Out).  Director Roberto Sneider will be in attendance. 

Reception:           6:00 p.m. - Thorne Auditorium/Northwestern, 375 East Chicago Ave., Chicago

Film:                    8:00 p.m.

Tickets:                $50 General/$40 ILCC Member - $15 Film Only (sold at the door at 7pm)

A NIGHT OF SPAIN - Friday, April 24, 2009

A Night of Spain brings Chicagoans the splendor of Spanish cinema with the award-winning drama

Lo mejor de mí (The Best of Me) starring Marian Alvarez as Raquel, a young lady who is faced with the decision of donating one of her organs to her boyfriend. Sponsored by the Tourist Office of Spain in Chicago, the special screening will be followed by a bubbly cocktail reception featuring live entertainment.

Film:               6:00 p.m. - AMC Pipers Alley, 1608 N. Wells St., Chicago

Reception:       8:00 p.m. - Chicago History Museum, 1601 North Clark Street, Chicago

Tickets:           $35 General/$30 ILCC Member

CLOSING NIGHT GALA - Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Chicago Latino Film Festival will conclude with a cocktail reception and live entertainment followed by the hilarious dark comedy, Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) from Colombia. The story about the once affluent De La Concha Family as they prepare to celebrate Christmas Eve.  Over the course of the evening, each member of the family will face their harsh economic reality resulting in amusing entanglements. Director Camila Loboguerrero will be in attendance.

Reception:           6:00 p.m. - Thorne Auditorium/Northwestern, 375 East. Chicago Ave., Chicago

Film:                    8:00 p.m.

Tickets:                $50 General/$40 ILCC Member - $15 Film Only (sold at the door starting at 7pm)


The Festival is non-competitive except for the coveted Audience Choice Award presented by Cine Latino and determined by the filmgoers.  All films are presented in their original language with English subtitles unless otherwise noted and presented at the following venues:


Landmark's Century Centre Cinemas, 2828 N. Clark Street, Chicago 

Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W. Fullerton Avenue, Chicago  


A film schedule is available online and a daily schedule of films is available by calling the festival hotline, (312) 409-1757.


Ticket Prices: 

General Admission $10, Students/Seniors/Disabled $9, ILCC Members $8

Festival Pass (10 Admissions) $80    ILCC Member            : $70

Festival Pass (15 Admissions) $100  ILCC Member: $80


Advance ticket sales for special events only may be purchased by calling (312) 431-1330 or online at 


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