THE 37TH CHICAGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES ITS SELECTIONS FOR THEIR OPENING AND CLOSING NIGHT SCREENINGS AT CHI-TOWN MOVIES DRIVE-IN

Lissette Feliciano’s feature debut “Women Is Losers” will open the Festival on April 8 and the North American premiere of Marcos Carnevale’s comedy “El cuartito” will unofficially close the Festival on April 17. Films will still be available for streaming on the Festival’s official platform last day, April 18.

CHICAGO (March 10, 2021) – The 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival, presented by Corona Extra, announced today its selections for their Opening and Closing Night screenings at ChiTown Movies Drive-In, 2343 S. Throop St. The Festival opens Thursday, April 8 with Lissette Feliciano’s inspiring feature debut Women Is Losers; the North American premiere of Marcos Carnevale’s immigration dramedy El cuartito will be the Closing Night presentation on Saturday, April 17. The gates open at 6:00 pm with the film scheduled to start at 7:00 pm.

A virtual screening of Women Is Losers, geoblocked to residents of Illinois, will be available to stream beginning Friday, April 9. El cuartito will screen exclusively at the Drive-In. The Festival ends with one more day of virtual screenings on Sunday, April 18.

Lissette Feliciano’s film takes place in 1960’s San Francisco where bright and talented Catholic school girl Celina Guerrera (Lorenza Izzo from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) survives a difficult home life by following the rules. That is until she becomes pregnant and decides to keep the baby after a friend dies during an abortion attempt. As Celina faces the obstacles of being young and alone, she sets out to rise above the oppression of poverty and invest in a future for herself. Loosely based on her own mother’s life and inspired by the Janis Joplin song of the same title, Lissette Feliciano’s inspiring and empowering portrait of a brave, flawed young woman marks the arrival of a powerful voice in U.S. Latino independent filmmaking.

“We have long championed the work of women filmmakers; of the 44 feature films programmed this year, 14 are directed by women and of the 36 shorts, 16 were directed or co-directed by women. Lissette’s deeply personal feature debut is an excellent example of the extraordinary work women filmmakers continue producing worldwide in front and behind the camera: it is a powerful, courageous and very moving film,” said Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago.

El cuartito is a high-stakes dramedy about five strangers from all over Latin America whose dreams are put on hold when immigration authorities at Puerto Rico’s International Airport detain them alongside a couple of Muslim migrants in a security screening room they nickname “El cuartito”. Cut off from the outside world, and alone after the Muslims were sent for processing by immigration, the quintet must find a way to understand each other and work as a team to escape before Thanksgiving night. With a soundtrack written by Calle 13 co-founder Eduardo Cabra and featuring a voiceover by Ricky Martin, “El Cuartito” is both a biting satire about immigration policy and a celebration of the human ability to find common ground regardless of our differences.

“Two of Marcos’ previous films, Anita and Heart of Lion, won the Audience Choice Award for Best Fiction film at the 27th and 30th editions of our Festival. El cuartito is not only topical but, like those two films and Marcos’ entire filmography, deeply human and full of heart. Like our Opening Night film selection Women Is Losers, it is the kind of film that calls for a communal setting and the Drive-In is the closest thing we have to that experience right now until we return to the theaters” added Vargas. 

Produced by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, the mostly virtual Festival will showcase films from all over Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States. The Festival will once again be working with Eventive’s virtual platform and its online program will be available to residents of Illinois and, with some exceptions, the Midwest states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. 

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

 

Lissette Feliciano is a writer, director, producer and a graduate of Tisch School of the Arts. She is a Tribeca Film Institute AT&T Untold Stories grant recipient, was named as one of Shoot Magazine’s new directors to watch and has served as an ambassador for The Wraps Power Women Summit. Her production company Look at the Moon Pictures develops original content that shines a hero’s lens on under-represented groups, joining the ranks of creators filling the market gap in storytelling for a new young multicultural audience

Marcos Carnevale began his career as a creative in the advertising industry, working for some of Argentina’s best-known agencies. He founded his own production company, Millecento, in 1994 and began directing commercials until 2000. He made his feature film directorial and screenwriting debut with Noches de ronda (Night Serenaders) in 1997. He has 13 feature films to his credit, alternating his work as director and screenwriter including Elsa & Fred (2005), Anita (2009), Corazón de león (Heart of Lion, 2013) and most recently Corazón loco (So Much Love to Give, 2020) current streaming on Netflix. 

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for Opening and Closing Nights at the Drive-in are: general, $55 per car; ILCC members, $44 per car. No more than 6 people per car. All ticketing fees are included in the price. Tickets must be purchased in advance. No in-person sales done at the Drive-in. 

Tickets for the virtual screening of Women Is Losers go on sale on Thursday, March 11. virtual screenings are $12 for general public and $10 for ILCC members, students and seniors. Festival passes good for 10 films are: $100, general and $80, ILCC members, students and seniors. All ticketing fees are included in the price. Once you have purchased a ticket for your film, you will be able to start watching any time during the watch window. Once you begin watching, you will have 24 hours to finish watching the film.

Tickets for Opening Night go on sale on March xx. For more information, visit: chicagolatinofilmfestival.org

SPONSORS

Sponsors of the 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival so far include (with more to be announced): 

Presenter: Corona Extra

Sponsors: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, BTEC, Delta/AeroMexico, DePaul University, Illinois Lottery, Lopez & Co, Prado & Renteria, Tristan & Cervantes, US Bank, Xfinity, The Whitehall Hotel

Media Sponsors: Chicago Reader, WBEZ/Vocalo, CAN TV, La Raza , NBC 5 / Telemundo Chicago and WTTW

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

The Chicago Latino Film Festival receives additional support from: The Reva and David Logan Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and Arts at Prince, The Field Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, Vanguard Charitable, Chicago Community Trust, Art Works Fund, Chicago Department Of Cultural Affairs (DCASE), Nordstrom, Illinois Arts Council, a State Agency, and Walder 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. 

Born out of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago also produces other programs, including the Latino Music Series, which will celebrate its 15th edition this year; Film in the Parks, also in its 15th season; the monthly Reel Film Club, already in its 11th 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 60,000 (Latinos and non-Latinos) who enjoy the year-round multidisciplinary cross-cultural exchanges offered by the Center.