PABLO LARRAÍN’S DARING NEW FILM EMA AND THE WALTER MERCADO DOCUMENTARY MUCHO MUCHO AMOR HEADLINE THE FIRST WAVE OF TITLES ANNOUNCED TODAY BY THE 36TH CHICAGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL
Additional high profile titles include Alejandro Amenábar’s “While at War,” Gabriel Mascaro’s “Divine Love,” Lucía Garibaldi’s “The Sharks” and “Los Espookys” director Fernando Frías de la Parra’s feature debut “I’m No Longer Here”
The Festival takes place April 16-30 at the AMC River East 21 Theatres
CHICAGO (March 11, 2020) – The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago is proud to announce the first wave of titles for the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival, which runs April 16-30, 2020 at the AMC River East 21 Theatres, 322 E. Illinois St. Opening and Closing Night selections will be announced in the next couple of weeks; the full lineup will be announced in early April.
This first round of titles include Ema, Pablo Larraín’s exhilarating and incendiary drama about family and reggaetón starring Mariana Di Girolamo and Gael García Bernal (in his third collaboration with the Chilean director); Mucho Mucho Amor, Cristina Constantini’s and Kareem Tabsch’s loving portrait of Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic and gender nonconforming legend Walter Mercado, a staple in millions of Latino households for more than three decades; Luisa Garibaldi’s coming-of-age story The Sharks, winner of the 2019 Sundance World Cinema Directing Award; Divine Love, Gabriel Mascaro’s speculative tale about a not-so-distant dystopian Brazil; and the cumbia-driven I’m No Longer Here from the director of HBO’s Los Espookys, Fernando Frías de la Parra. Mucho Mucho Amor and I’m No Longer Here will premiere on Netflix this year; Ema will also be released theatrically by Music Box Films this year. Distributed by Artmattan Productions, Marighella will have a limited national run on May 1.
“This first wave of titles includes some of the most anticipated Latino films of the first half of 2020 as well as some of the most talked about films of the festival and awards circuits. I can’t wait to share with Chicago’s movie lovers the rest of our official selection in the weeks to come,” said Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center, producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival.
THE FIRST WAVE
Amalia (USA; Director: Omar Rodríguez López): Amalia Velázquez discovers her husband is having an affair while still grieving her mother’s recent death. When her husband mysteriously dies a few days later, the now widow becomes obsessed with his mistress, Tania. Fueled by drugs and alcohol, Amalia can no longer distinguish between reality and insanity as she establishes contact with a fleshless being from another dimension. Shot mostly outdoors, at night and in black and white, guitarist and Mars Volta founder Omar Rodríguez-López’s latest film is a trippy, dark and chaotic trip into the subconscious.
Divine Love/Divino amor (Brazil; Director: Gabriel Mascaro): Brazil, 2027. The Party of Supreme Love has supplanted the Carnaval as the country’s main cultural event. Scanners in public spaces announce loud and clear a woman’s child-bearing status. And an active sex life is encouraged as long as it leads to procreation. Gabriel Mascaro’s (Neon Bull) new film delivers a Day-Glo, synth-heavy, sensual and yet oppressive view of a not-so-distant Brazil.
Ema (Chile; Director: Pablo Larraín): Mariana Di Girolamo delivers a fiery, take-no-prisoners star-making performance as the title character in Pablo Larraín’s most daring and vibrant film yet. Reggaetón dancer Ema’s marriage to choreographer Gastón (Gael García Bernal) is thrown into disarray after they are forced to reverse the adoption of their son Polo when he commits a shockingly violent act. Ema then embarks on an intense, risky journey of liberation and self-discovery, consequences be damned.
I’m No Longer Here/Ya no estoy aquí (Mexico/USA; Director: Fernando Frías de la Parra): Winner of the Audience Award and the Best Feature Film Award at the Morelia Film Festival, Frías de la Parra’s (HBO’s Los Espookys) feature debut dances to a cumbia beat from beginning to end. Seventeen-year-old Ulises is the leader of Los Terkos, one of the many small street gangs in Monterrey known as Kolombianos who spend their evenings listening to cumbias and going to parties dressed to the max. A run-in with a local drug cartel forces Ulises to leave for Jackson Heights, New York, where he tries to adapt to a new way of life. But the far away sounds of cumbia call him back.
Marighella (Brazil; Director: Wagner Moura): Wagner Moura (Elite Squad, Narcos) makes his directorial debut with this gripping, action-packed biopic of poet, congressman and founder of the armed resistance group National Liberation Action, Carlos Marighella. Censored by Jair Bolsonaro’s government, the film focuses on Marighella’s final years as he tries to convince Brazilians nationwide to join his armed revolution against the military dictatorship while engaging in a cat-and-mouse game with them. Anchored by a passionate and soulful performance from singer/actor Seu Jorge (City of God, Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), Marighella defiantly stands against Brazil’s shifting political winds.
Mucho Mucho Amor (USA; Directors: Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch): Every single day for decades, extravagant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic and gender nonconforming legend Walter Mercado charmed the world with his televised horoscopes. Equal parts Oprah, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, Walter was a celebrated daily part of Latino culture, who at his peak reached over 120 million viewers. Since childhood, Walter was regarded as a healer, but his greatest miracle might have been his personal transformation from shy farm boy to flamboyant showman. Mucho Mucho Amor captures Walter’s final two years, when the pioneering icon grappled with aging and his legacy, as he prepared for one last star-studded spectacle.
Out in the Open/Intemperie (Spain; Director: Benito Zambrano): In a country still reeling from the effects of a devastating Civil War, a small boy runs away from an abusive farmer somewhere in the vast Spanish southern desert. He runs into a solitary goatherd (Luis Tosar) who was a former Civil War combatant and a veteran of Spain’s colonial wars. A father and son bond develops between these two outcasts; along the way they deal with everything this tough environment throws at them while evading the boy’s pursuers. Winner of two Goya Awards including Best Adapted Screenplay, Out in the Open is a tender and often harrowing take on the classic Western.
The Sharks/Los tiburones (Uruguay/Argentina/Spain; Director: Lucía Garibaldi): Winner of the 2019 Sundance World Cinema Directing Award, Garibaldi’s coming-of-age drama focuses on 14-year-old Rosina (Romina Bentancur) who claims to have seen sharks in the coastal waters of an Uruguayan resort. Soon after, her father hires her to do some maintenance work where one of his employees catches her eye: Joselo. Rosina experiences something new as she begins to circle him like a shark. Powered by Bentancur’s intrepid performance, Garibaldi presents in her feature debut a sensitive portrayal of a teen’s sexual awakening.
The Weasels’ Tale/El cuento de las comadrejas (Argentina/Spain; Director: Juan José Campanella): Juan José Campanella pays tribute to the golden age of Argentinean cinema in his first live action film since The Secret in Their Eyes. Legendary actress Maya Ordaz (Graciela Borges from La Ciénaga), her wheelchair-bound husband Diego (Luis Brandoni), retired film director and weasel hunter Norberto (Oscar Martínez) and scriptwriter Martin (Marcos Mundstock) live together in an old mansion. Their bickering and constant clashes are no different than the ones they once experienced on a movie set. That may come to an end now that she plans to sell the mansion to an unscrupulous millennial couple.
While at War (Spain; Director: Alejandro Amenábar): Winner of five Goyas including Best Supporting Actor for Eduard Fernández, Alejandro Amenábar’s (Open Your Eyes, The Sea Inside) first Spanish film in more than a decade tells the story of Franco’s rise to power. Spanish philosopher and academic Miguel de Unamuno initially declares his support to the military rebellion, drawing the ire of friends and fellow intellectuals. As Franco plots the overthrow of the young Republic, Unamuno reconsiders his position. As Unamuno, Karra Elejalde delivers a complex and nuanced performance, finding his perfect foil in Fernández as Franco ally, General Millán Astray.
Tickets before April 1st: $13, general admission; $10 (with valid ID), ILCC Members, students and seniors. Mondays and Tuesdays, $10 all.
Tickets after April 1st: $14, general admission; $11 (with valid ID), ILCC Members, students and seniors. Mondays and Tuesdays, $11 all.
Festival passes worth 12 admissions are: Before April 1st, after April 1st, $110 for the general public and $80 for ILCC Members; after April 1st, $120 for the general public and $90 for ILCC Members.
Cash, debit and major credit cards are accepted at the box office. Festival passes and tickets for these titles can now be purchased at ChicagoLatinoFilmFestival.org, or CLFF’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/
The 36th 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
Silver: Allstate, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Delta Air Lines – Aeromexico, DePaul University, The Whitehall Hotel, Yes Press
Bronze: Coca-Cola, Consulate General of Chile in Chicago, Illinois Lottery, Lopez & Co, Prado & Renteria, Tristan & Cervantes, US Bank
Media Sponsors: CAN-TV, Chicago Latino Network, Chicago Reader, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, La Raza, Mike Oquendo Events, NBC Chicago/Telemundo Chicago, Univision Chicago, WBEZ-FM/Vocalo.
The Chicago Latino Film Festival receives additional support from: Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Field Foundation of Illinois, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council –a State Agency, the Illinois Board of Tourism, the Illinois Film Office, The National Endowment for the Arts, Prince Charitable Trusts, Nordstrom, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation and the Reva and David Logan Foundation.
ABOUT THE ILCC
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.
The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago also produces other programs, including the year-round Latino Music Series; Film in the Parks, now in its 15th season; the monthly Reel Film Club, already in its 12th year; and many others. Audiences have grown from 500 people in 1985 for the first Chicago Latino Film Festival to more than 50,000 (Latinos and non-Latinos) who enjoy the year-round multidisciplinary cross-cultural exchanges offered by the Center.