38th Chicago Latin Film Festival (CLFF) From April 21 to May 1, announces the first wave of titles from nearly 100 features and shorts from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States confirmed for the event.
This first set of titles includes two films fresh from the Sundance Film Festival: Eva Longoria’s feature-length documentary Bastón Civil waron the legendary rivalry between pugilists Julio César Chávez and Oscar de la Hoya, and Juan Pablo González Dos Estaciones, winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition’s Special Jury Prize for Best Actress for Teresa Sánchez for her performance as the owner of a broken but not necessarily broken tequila factory. Other highlights of this first wave include: Bones, the new short film by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, the makers of the groundbreaking stop-motion animated film The Wolf’s House; The terrible Anita Rocha de Silveira Astonished, about a young ultra-conservative Christian woman and member of a gang of masked “vigilante” girls who soon becomes an outcast in her own group; and Gardenia PerfumePuerto Rican queer artist Macha Colón’s dark comedy about the island’s unique funeral culture and the women who surround it.
ALSO READ: 38th Chicago Latin Film Festival Poster Contest Winner Revealed
Presented by Corona Extra and produced by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, the Festival will again adopt a hybrid format with face-to-face screenings at the Landmark Century Center, 2828 N. Clark St.several Drive-In presentations at ChiTown Movies Drive-In, 2343 S. Throop St., and with virtual screenings via Eventive available to residents of Illinois and the Midwestern states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana.
Opening, Centerpiece and Closing Night selections will be announced in the coming weeks; the complete program will be announced at the end of March. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 21.
“We’re so happy to be back in theaters to share these incredible films with Chicago moviegoers. There’s nothing like that shared experience of watching a movie with others and then talking about it. with friends over dinner, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. These titles, along with the ones we’ll be announcing in the coming weeks, are not just conversation starters, but a testament to the will and determination of Latino filmmakers around the world in these trying times,” said Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center in Chicago.
FIRST WAVE FEATURES (FEATURES)
- Civil war (US/UK; director: Eva Longoria Bastón): The epic rivalry between iconic boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Julio César Chávez in the 1990s speaks to the cultural divide between Mexican nationals and Mexican Americans in the United States. Civil war chronicles how their lives paralleled each other, the financial hardships their respective families faced, and the violence that surrounded them as they grew up through their most important matches leading up to their eventual showdown in 1996. Using never-before-seen archival material, as well as in-depth and intimate interviews, actress Eva Longoria Bastón recounts, in her feature debut, a battle that became much more than just a boxing match.
- Astonished (Brazil; Director: Anita Rocha de Silveira): Winner of the Noves Visions Best Director award at the Sitges Film Festival, Rocha da Silveira’s Dario Argento-inspired genre hybrid follows Mariana, an ultra-conservative young Christian who, by day, dedicates herself to her beauty and singing in the church choir and at night, hunts down and beats women deemed sinners by his gang of masked “vigilantes”. When Mariana gets her face cut off in such an attack, she is ostracized by her group and is forced to find work at a clinic accommodating long-term comatose patients. With the new job comes an understanding of one’s own sexuality and inner power, and war on the status quo is declared.
- Dawn (Costa Rica; Director: Paz Fábrega): Paz Fabrega (Viaje) returns to the Chicago Latino Film Festival with this intimate and thoughtful story about unwanted pregnancy, solidarity and empathy. Luisa, a 40-year-old architect, enjoys giving art lessons to young students. One day, Luisa meets Yuliana, 17, in the school bathroom after taking pills to induce an abortion. Her pregnancy is so advanced that abortion is no longer an option under Costa Rican law, so Luisa decides to help her, transforming herself into a combination of friend, teacher, and surrogate mother.
- Dos Estaciones (Mexico: Director: Juan Pablo González): Winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition’s Special Jury Prize for Best Actress for Teresa Sánchez at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, González’s fictional feature debut is set in her native Atotonilco, Jalisco, where foreign companies and climate change threaten to erase the last vestiges of local industry and craftsmanship. María García (Sánchez), 50, is the owner of Dos Estaciones, a once stately tequila factory now threatened by a lingering plague and unexpected flooding. She meets Rafaela, a savvy young woman whose expertise in the field could save María from this foreign competition. However, Dos Estaciones is much more than a story about the hardships of the tequila industry; it quietly and subtly explores issues of gender identity and fluidity in a predominantly conservative community.
- Gardenia Perfume/Parfum of Gardenias (Puerto Rico; Director: Macha Colón): Afro-Puerto Rican queer multidisciplinary artist Macha Colón makes his film debut with this idiosyncratic black comedy about funeral arrangements, old age and facing death with dignity. Isabel (former TV and theater actress Luz María Rondón in her first film role) organizes a beautiful, bespoke funeral for her beloved husband. The arrangement catches the eye of Toña (Sharon Riley, another island theater legend) who, along with other neighbors, participates in the local funeral scene. She asks Isabel to design a personalized funeral for their sick neighbors and Isabel happily embraces her new line of work until Toña makes an unexpected confession.
- Me and the beasts/Yo y las bestias (Venezuela; Director: Nico Manzano): Manzano’s feature debut (he also shot the film and wrote the songs), tells the exuberant story of Andrés Bravo, a singer and guitarist who refuses to play with his band after his bandmates agree to perform at of a festival sponsored by the Nicolás Maduro government. Starting a solo career proves more difficult than expected, especially now that many of his friends are leaving the country in search of better opportunities. But as he begins to despair, two mysterious beings dressed in yellow from head to toe decide to give him a hand.
THE FIRST WAVE: SHORTS
- Neon Ghost/Fantasma neon (Brazil; Director: Leonardo Martinelli): João is an application delivery man who dreams of having a motorbike. He was told that everything would be like a musical film. But even in neon, it is still invisible.
- The Bones/Los Huesos (Chile; Directors: Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña): Revolutionary directors of The Wolf’s House comes this fictionalized account of the world’s first stop-motion animated film. The images – dated 1901 and excavated in 2021 as Chile drafts a new Constitution – document a ritual performed by a girl who uses human corpses to resuscitate Diego Portales and Jaime Guzmán, central figures in building an authoritarian Chile and oligarchic.
- Alma and Paz/Alma and Paz (Mexico; Director: Cris Gris): Young Alma believes her late mother’s spirit still inhabits the ranch where she lives with her grandmother. When Paz, Alma’s older half-sister, arrives to sell the ranch, Alma searches for a way to save their home, while facing the truths of growing up. An exploration of the links between generations of women in the liminal space between magic and reality.
- Please wait (USA; Director: KD Dávila): In this Oscar-nominated short set in the not-too-distant future, Mateo is wrongfully arrested due to a computer error. Realizing he has no recourse in the fully automated and fully privatized justice system, he desperately tries to reach a real human being, who can set things right.
TICKET INFORMATION Chicago Latin Film Festival
Tickets for Drive-in screenings (maximum 6 passengers) are: general, $55 per car; Members of the ILCC, $44 per car. All ticketing fees are included in the price. Tickets must be purchased in advance. No in-person sales at the Drive-in.
Tickets for each regular screening at the Landmark Century Center are: $14, general admission; $12 (with valid ID), ILCC members, students and seniors. The festival passes worth 10 tickets for face-to-face screenings are: $100 for the general public and $80 for ILCC members, students and seniors.
Tickets for virtual screenings are $12 for the general public and $10 for ILCC members, students and seniors. The Festival Passes valid for 10 films are: $90 general and $75, ILCC members, students and seniors. All ticketing fees are included in the price. Once you have purchased a ticket for your movie, you will be able to start watching at any time during the viewing window. Once you start watching, you will have 24 hours to finish watching the movie.
Tickets go on sale Monday, March 21 for the 38th Chicago Latin Film Festival. For more information visit: chicagolatinofilmfestival.org
Nominate someone you know for the 4th Annual REEL WOMEN
Register: Stay up to date with the latest film, TV, advertising, entertainment and production news! Sign up for our free alert here.