Latinos have always been a force in the film industry and are finally getting some recognition as seen with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s back-to-back win of Best Director at the Academy Awards. Get a peak at cinema’s current and future Latino stars at the 32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival.
With 74 feature films and 42 short films all from the United States, Latin America, and the Iberian Peninsula, there is surely a film for every kind of movie goer. If you don’t speak Spanish, Portuguese, or Haitian Creole don’t worry as all films will have English subtitles while being presented in their original language. Not only will the film festival open your eyes to another world, but many filmmakers will be on hand after screenings to answer questions.
If you’re having trouble picking which films to see then here are five you don’t want to miss.
This opening night film brings laughs and heart. Ilusiones, S.A. is a company that creates fantasies into realities and is hired by a grandfather who has been telling his wife heroic tales of their grandson who has been gone for 20 years. When the grandfather learns of the grandson’s passing he hires Ilusiones, S.A. to have two of their recruits pose as the grandson and his wife.
The 2015 Camera D’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, “La Tierra y La Sombra,” is the first feature film from Colombian César Augusto Acevedo. This beautifully shot film follows an old farmer returning to a family he abandoned 17 years ago. This drama is told on the backdrop of Colombia expanding its sugar industry and sugar cane workers threatening to strike.
With its debt crises Puerto Rico has been in the news a lot lately, but outside of the numbers and the beautiful beaches many don’t know of the economic and personal realities of many Puerto Ricans on the island. Angel Manuel Soto’s “La Granja” grabs you by the collar and demands that you watch the lives of Lucho, the young, overweight drug mule; Fausto, the former boxer training his son; and Ingrid, the barren midwife.
From executive producer Wim Wenders comes a personalized history of tango told through the lives of iconic dancers María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, who danced together for over 50 years and popularized tango with their hit Broadway show “Tango Argentino.”
Sergio Cabrera’s adaptation of Wendy Guevara’s semi-autobiographical novel is a heartbreaking tale of a three-way tug of war between a mother, a father, and the Cuban government for custody of eight-year-old Nieve.
The 32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival takes place April 8–21 at AMC River East 21 located at 322 E. Illinois St. For showtimes, tickets, and the full lineup of films visit chicagolatinofilmfestival.org.