the 38th Chicago Latin Film Festivalpresented by Corona Extra, today announced its selections for its Opening Night and Centerpiece screenings at Drive-in ChiTown Movies, 2343 S. Throop Street
The Festival opens Thursday April 21 with Abner Benaim’s harrowing account of class and racial divisions in Panama, Cathedral Square. The Centerpiece selection of the Festival, Angeles Cruz’s first feature film, Nudo Mixteco, will be projected on Wednesday April 27. The doors open to 6:30 p.m. the two films to start 7:30 p.m.. The two movies will be screened exclusively at the Drive-In.
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Benaim’s third film to be selected as Panama’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film Oscars after 2014 Invasion (an official selection of the 32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival) and Ruben Blades is not my name (2018), Cathedral Square tells the story of Alicia (Mexican actress Ilse Salas), still grieving after the death of her six-year-old son in a freak accident and now divorced from Diego (Manolo Cardona), and 13-year-old Alexis, aka Chief (Fernando Xavier de Casta), who makes a living by “taking care” of parked cars. An architect by training but now earning her living as a real estate agent selling luxury condos, she meets Chief when she tries to park her car right in front of his building. A few days later, he appears on her doorstep, bleeding from a gunshot wound. She lets him in reluctantly. What she couldn’t imagine was that by opening the door to Chief, she would also open the door to an unforeseen emotional connection. Grounded by Salas’ subtle performance and de Casta’s charismatic turn in his first leading role (unfortunately he was assassinated before he received the Best Actor award at the Guadalajara Film Festival), Cathedral Square is a devastating portrait of the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
In Nudo Mixteco, Ángeles Cruz intertwines the stories of three Mixtec women determined to take control of their lives as the people of their fictional town of San Mateo gather to celebrate their patron saint. María returns to San Mateo to bury her mother and ask her childhood sweetheart Piedad to go with her. Esteban returns to the village after three years to find that his wife Chabela is living with another woman and requests that a community court prosecute her. Toña wants to save her daughter from her abusive uncle. Nudo MixtecoThe harrowing tales of migration, poverty and gender identity introduce audiences to a community and culture whose stories are rarely told on the big screen.
“From the beginning, the Chicago Latino Film Festival has featured films that speak to the experiences of marginalized communities across the Americas, especially Indigenous and Afro-Latino communities. These two selections Cathedral Square and Nudo Mixtecoportray them and the obstacles they face, inside and out, with honesty and empathy,” said Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center in Chicago.
Produced by the Chicago International Latin Cultural Centerthe 38th Chicago Latin Film Festival, April 21-May 1, will feature films from all over Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States. The Festival will once 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, 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.
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