Immigration Drama “I Am From Chile” to Close the 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival


CHICAGO (March 4, 2014) – The 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival wraps up its anniversary celebration Wednesday, April 16th with the Closing Night Gala Chicago premiere of Gonzalo Diaz’s feature film debut “I Am from Chile.” The Closing Night Gala will take place at the AMC River East 21 Theatres, 322 E. Illinois St. The event starts at 6 p.m. and will conclude with a reception following the screening at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 511 N. Columbus Dr. Director Gonzalo Diaz and lead actress Paulina Garcia, winner last year of the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival for “Gloria,” are scheduled to attend the event. The Closing Night Gala is sponsored by

“Gonzalo’s debut feature is a very powerful, human story about immigration, solidarity and finding common ground with other cultures in a new country,” said Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, producer of the 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival. “By closing our anniversary celebration with ‘I Am from Chile’ we are betting on the next generation of Latino filmmakers while laying the groundwork for the next 30 years, and more, of the Chicago Latino Film Festival.”

Inspired by Diaz’s own experiences, “I Am from Chile” is the story of Salvador, who moves to London from Chile to study English and travel around Europe at his parents’ expense. He stays with his aunt Maria (Garcia), who makes a rather decent living renting the rooms of the building she lives in to other immigrants. But when a financial crisis back home leaves Salvador with no resources of his own, he has no choice but to make ends meet with the help of Maria and his flatmates (including a Russian drug dealer and his Japanese girlfriend), taking on a series of short-term, and at times, dangerous jobs.

Tickets for Closing Night Gala are $80 general admission / $65 for ILCC members. Admission includes a special film screening and reception offering food, libations and live entertainment. Cocktail attire is strongly encouraged. Tickets for Closing Night go on sale Friday, March 7th and can be purchased online at or by calling (312) 431-1330.

The 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) will be taking place April 3-17 and will feature over 100 feature-length and short films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States. All of the films will be shown in their original language with English subtitles. The audience will also have the opportunity to participate in discussions with local and international filmmakers after most of the screenings. The Festival will be held at the AMC River East 21 Theatres, 322 E. Illinois St.

The 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival is made possible by the generous contributions of sponsors and their continued commitment to the Latino arts in Chicago:

Platinum: American Airlines – Official Airline, BMO Harris Bank, Telemundo/NBC Chicago, and Univision Chicago
Gold: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Hoy/Chicago Tribune, JCDecaux, La Raza, and WBEZ/Vocalo, and WTTW 11
Silver: Allstate, Cine Latino, Corona Extra, DePaul University, DishLatino, Lapiz, MundoFox 13 Chicago,, TITAN, The Whitehall Hotel –Official Hotel of the 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival, and Yes! Press
Bronze: AARP, Baker & McKenzie, CAN-TV, Chicago Reader, CITGO, Consulate General of Argentina in Chicago, Consulate General of Chile in Chicago, Gozamos, Illinois Lottery, Instituto Cervantes, Lopez & Co, Prado & Renteria, Reflejos, Sam’s Club, State Farm, Tristan & Cervantes, and UNAM–Chicago

In addition to the corporate sponsorship, the Chicago Latino Film Festival receives additional financial support from: The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council –a state agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Nordstrom.

This project was partially funded by a Grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism.


In 1985, the Chicago Latino Film Festival began with 14 films projected onto a concrete wall for 500 viewers, and has now grown into the International Latino Cultural Center (ILCC) of Chicago, a premiere cultural organization. The ILCC is a pan-Latino, nonprofit, multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to developing, promoting and increasing awareness of Latino cultures among Latinos and other communities by presenting a wide variety of art forms and education including film, music, dance, visual arts, comedy and theater. The Center prides itself for its outstanding multidisciplinary local and international cultural programming which spans Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and the United States.