CHICAGO (May 9, 2017) – The 33rd Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) announced today the winners and runner-ups of the Audience Choice Awards in the Feature, Shorts and Documentary categories. Even though CLFF is a non-competitive festival, since 1993 the public has had the opportunity to vote for their favorite film in several categories and award them with the Audience Choice Award.

The winners are:

  • Feature: “Esteban” (Cuba. Director: Jonal Cosculluela): Nine-year-old Esteban and his divorced mother try to make ends meet by selling a variety of products on the streets of Havana. Drawn by the music coming out of a dilapidated house, Esteban meets Hugo, an embittered piano teacher. Esteban has a gift for music and will do anything in his power to nurture this new found passion even if it means going behind his mother’s back. With an original score by jazz great Chucho Valdes and a charismatic performance from Reynaldo Guanche as Esteban, Cosculluela’s film debut is a gentle tale of dreams come true under the direst circumstances.
    • Second Place: “La habitación/Tales of Mexico” (Mexico/Poland. Directors: Carlos Carrera, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Carlos Bolado, Ernesto Contreras, Alfonso Pineda-Ulloa, Alejandro Valle, Iván Ávila Dueñas and Natalia Beristáin)
    • Third Place: “Al final del túnel/At the End of the Tunnel” (Argentina. Director: Rodrigo Grande)
  • Documentary: “The Way to Andina” (USA. Director: Arlen Parsa): When Chicago-based independent filmmaker Arlen Parsa discovers that his Colombian great-grandfather Eustasio Rosales left behind a long lost opera that’s never been performed, he thinks he knows what he has to do. Determined to fulfill his family legacy and resurrect the opera, decades after it was first written, he takes a leap of faith and decides to produce its world premiere even though he has zero experience with opera and can’t speak a word of Spanish. What could possibly go wrong?
    • Second Place: “Olancho” (Honduras/USA. Directors: Chris Valdes and Ted Griswold)
    • Third Place: “Jericó: el infinito vuelo de los días/Jericó: The Infinite Flight of Days” (Colombia. Director: Catalina Mesa)
  • Short: “Hijo por hijo/Child for Child” (Venezuela. Director: Juan Avella): The life of a Venezuelan kidnapper takes an unexpected turn while on the job. When the roles in a tense situation are reversed, emotions and adrenaline will be the driving force.
    • Second Place: “J-Def/María Mariachi/Yvolina” (USA. Director: Esaú Meléndez)
    • Third Place: “The Search” (Argentina/USA. Director: Melina Tupa)

Produced by the International Latino Cultural Center, the 33rd Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) took place April 20th-May 4th and screened 71 feature-length and 40 short films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States at the AMC River East 21.

SAVE THE DATE: The 33rd Chicago Latino Film Festival will take place April 5th-April 19th, 2018.

The 33rd Chicago Latino Film Festival was 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 Chicago, JCDecaux, La Raza and WTTW 11.
  • Silver: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, Latinicity, The Whitehall Hotel, Intersection, Yes! Press and DePaul University.
  • Bronze: Baker & McKenzie, CAN-TV, Consulate General of the Argentine Republic, CITGO, Coca-Cola, Consulate General of Chile in Chicago, Ford, Beam Suntory, Copa Airlines, Lopez & Co, Prado & Renteria, Tequila Casa Noble, Tristan & Cervantes, Chicago Latino Network, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader and HOY/Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Latino Film Festival receives additional support from: CineLatino,, Illinois Lottery, HueMovies, Sidekick Video, US Bank, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Nordstrom, Prince Charitable Trust and the Illinois Arts Council.

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 Internatonal Latino Cultural Center of Chicago also produces other programs, including the Latino Music Festival, which will celebrate its 12th edition in the Fall; Film in the Parks, also in its 12th season; the monthly Reel Film Club, already in its 9th 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.