The 32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival Celebrates Kartemquin’s 50th Anniversary with Special Screening of “In the Game”


CHICAGO (March 9, 2016) – The 32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) joins the celebration of Kartemquin’s 50th anniversary with a special presentation of Maria Finitzo’s critically acclaimed documentary In the Game, Tuesday, April 19 at 6 pm at the AMC River East 21 Theatres, 322 E. Illinois St. Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center, producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, Finitzo and Gordon Quinn, Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films, will introduce the film. A question and answer session will follow the film’s screening.

In the Game will also be screened on Monday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 13 as part of the Festival’s Matinee Outreach Program at the AMC River East. An educational component to the Festival, the program offers elementary and high school students the opportunity to learn about the diversity of other Latino cultures and to connect with their own heritage. In addition, students have a chance to meet with the film artists involved in the making of the film and discuss viable career options in the arts. The program serves nearly 5,000 students from the Chicago area.

“From Chicago’s muralist movement to an epic story about the hundreds of immigrants who have started new lives in this country, Kartemquin’s documentaries have played an indispensable role in chronicling this country’s neighborhoods and the people that live and work in them. In the Game introduces audiences to one of these communities, one that is rarely, if ever, covered by the mainstream media. It is a magnificent addition to one of the most powerful filmographies in the history of documentaries,” said Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center, producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival.

“It is an honor to have one of our films shown at the Chicago Latino Film Festival, which has long been an outstanding leader in promoting the rich cultural diversity of this city and its inhabitants. We are deeply grateful for their recognition,” said Gordon Quinn, founder and Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films.

“We are so very excited to be screening In the Game at the Chicago Latino Film Festival. It is the perfect place for a story of resilient young Latinas who hold fast to their dreams no matter what,” added In the Game director Maria Finitzo.

In the Game follows the ups and downs of a girls’ soccer team to reveal the very real obstacles that low-income students confront in their quest for higher education. Kelly High School, on Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood, is struggling to provide the basics for their students, many of whom do not make it to college, either because they cannot compete academically or because their families do not have the financial resources to send them to college. The girls face an uneven playing field – or in the case of the girls at Kelly High School, no soccer field at all– comprising problems at home, discrimination, and poverty, but remain undaunted thanks to their teammates and the dedicated mentoring of their coach. Grasshopper Films recently acquired the video-on-demand and non-theatrical rights to the documentary.

Kartemquin Films is a collaborative center for documentary media makers who seek to foster a more engaged and empowered society. A revered resource within the film community on issues of fair use, ethics, story and civic discourse, Kartemquin is internationally recognized for crafting quality documentaries backed by audience and community engagement strategies, and for its innovative media arts community programs. The organization has won every major critical and journalistic prize, including multiple Emmy, Peabody, duPont-Columbia and Robert F. Kennedy journalism awards, Independent Spirit, IDA, PGA and DGA awards, and an Oscar nomination. For the 50th anniversary of Kartemquin Films, several organizations in Chicago and around the country will host a series of screenings and events to celebrate the impact of their work.

The 32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) will be taking place April 8_21 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 where appropriate. The audience will also have the opportunity to participate in discussions with the filmmakers after most of the screenings. The Festival will be held at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St. The full Festival schedule will be announced in mid-March; tickets for individual films will also go on sale in mid- to late March and can be purchased online at

The 32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival is made possible by the generous contributions of sponsors and their continued commitment to the Latino arts in Chicago:

Gold: Corona Extra, BMO Harris Bank, AMC Independent, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Univision, JCDecaux, La Raza, NBC5 Chicago, Telemundo, Xfinity and WTTW 11
Silver: DePaul University, AARP, United Airlines, Whitehall Hotel, Intersection and Yes! Press
Bronze: Baker & McKenzie, CAN-TV, Coca-Cola, Consulate General of Argentina in Chicago, Consulate General of Chile in Chicago, Copa Airlines, Lopez & Co, Prado & Renteria, Tequila Casa Noble, Tristan & Cervantes and Wines of Argentina.

The Chicago Latino Film Festival receives additional support from: Chicago Reader, DNAInfo Chicago, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Latino Scoop, the National Endowment for the Arts, Nordstrom, Prince Charitable Trust and Reflejos.

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 11th anniversary in the Fall; Film in the Parks, also in its 11th season; the monthly Reel Film Club, already in its 7th 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.