CHICAGO (January 22, 2015) – The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, announced tonight that Jorge Pomareda, a Chicago-based art director, illustrator and designer, won first place in the 18th Annual Official Chicago Latino Film Festival Poster Contest. The announcement and official poster unveiling took place during a private reception at The Society for Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.

From Mexican-Peruvian descent, Jorge grew up in Costa Rica, where he started his career in graphic design and advertising. Jorge’s career spans over 15 years working for various advertising agencies in the US, Latin America and Europe. His work has been featured in Communication Arts, Creativity, PRINT Magazine and the British Design & Art Directors Annual. He also participated in collective exhibitions and experimental visual projects.

“The symbols of passion are a recurrent subject in my work: the heart symbolizes love and perseverance. It’s something that goes into every film made, a true labor of love, but it is also what those films make us feel when we watch them. By blending these two symbols -the camera and the heart- this new object was born, and I loved it. It’s very unique and makes such a strong statement that I wanted to keep the design very simple, with a complementary color palette and strong lines to bring the illustration to life,” explained Pomareda.

“This year’s poster speaks not only to the passion Latino film artists bring to their work and the sacrifices they make in bringing their visions to life on the screen, but also to our love and appreciation as filmgoers and festival organizers for what they do,” said Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago. “With the unveiling of our official poster we begin the countdown to what promises to be another exciting edition of the Chicago Latino Film Festival.”

Local, national and international artists of all ages submitted over 90 original works of art in a variety of mediums for consideration. Each entry expressed the vision of the festival’s mission to promote Latino culture through film. All entries were viewed by a new panel of five judges from the fields of design and marketing and the entertainment industry; the entries were judged on creativity, strong graphic impact and marketability.

This year’s judges were: Osvaldo “Ozzie” Godinez, CEO, PACO Communications; Sylvia Hevia, CEO, Sylvia Hevia Productions; Sylvia Nieves, designer of the official poster of the 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival; Frankmy Olivo, Art Director, Leo Burnett/Lapiz; and Tom Pardue, CEO & Founder, Pardue Financial Advisors and International Latino Cultural Center Board Member.

The winning poster will become the face of the Festival, as it will be on the cover of half-a-million newsprint schedules, invitations, program books, t-shirts, the Festival’s website and more. First place winners receive a $1,000 cash prize; second and third place winners each receive a festival pass.

The 31st Chicago Latino Film Festival will take place April 9-23 at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St. The full program will be announced mid-March.

The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago 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.

Born out of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago also produces other programs, including the Latino Music Festival, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in the Fall; Film in the Parks, also in its 10th season; the monthly Reel Film Club, already in its 6th year; and many others.

All in all, the audience has grown from 500 people in 1985 for the first Chicago Latino Film Festival to more than 70,000 (Latinos and non-Latinos), who enjoy the year-round multidisciplinary cross-cultural exchanges offered by the Center.