The 40th Chicago Latino Film Festival announced today that it will be presenting nine World, nine North American and one US Premieres.

Featuring close to 100 short and feature-length films from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Spain, Portugal, and the United States, the 40th Chicago Latino Film Festival will run from April 11th to April 22nd. The already announced Opening and Closing Nights will be held at the Davis Theatre, 4614 N. Lincoln Ave. and a special event at the Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St., with the rest of the Festival taking place at the Landmark Century Center, 2828 N. Clark St. Tickets go on sale Thursday, March 21st when the full program will be unveiled. For more information visit

The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation is a Presenting Partner of the 40th Anniversary of the Chicago Latino Film Festival.

World Premieres include: Let’s Take a Walk Valentina (Argentina/Chile); The Woman Who Cries (Brazil); Primera persona (Chile); Corozo (Colombia); El trayecto (Dominican Republic); Two Days in Quito (Ecuador); Total Loss (Mexico); La herencia de Flora (Perú) and Hunger (Venezuela).

North American Premieres include: Long Time, No Sleep (Argentina); The Polish Women (Brazil); No One (Chile): Itzia, Tango & Cacao (Colombia); Not a Bedtime Story (Ecuador); The Erection of Toribio Bardelli (Peru); The Nothingness Club (Portugal); and Once Upon a Time in the Caribbean and Pies en la Arena (Puerto Rico).

US Premiere: In the Company of Women (Spain) 

“We are honored that these filmmakers have chosen the 40th anniversary of our Festival to host their premieres. From the highly personal and introspective to hard-hitting issues and epic filmmaking, these 18 films reflect the variety of themes, stories and approaches that has been a consistent feature of the Festival for these past four decades,” said Pepe Vargas, Executive Director and Founder of the International Latino Cultural Center.  

Following are the film’s synopsis:



  • Let’s Take a Walk, Valentina/Caminemos Valentina (Argentina/Chile; Director: Alberto Lecchi): Lecchi’s new film tells the true story of Sandra Migliore and Valentina Rojas, two of the many teens sexually abused by the Mother Superior of the convent where they were studying to become nuns. The film starts as both women cross paths in the same school they work for: Sandra as an administrator and Valentina as a nun. Both women realize they also share a common experience when a rash of emails accuse the school principal of sexual abuse. The emails themselves trigger dark memories, bringing both women closer to each other.
  • The Woman Who Cried/A Mulher que Chora (Brazil; Director: George Walker): Miguel, a 7-year-old boy, lives with three generations of estranged women in an old house. Among them is his mother who, after a traumatic divorce, distances herself from the boy. Miguel takes comfort in Carmen, an enigmatic Venezuelan immigrant who works as a maid for this Brazilian family. Carmen becomes an ambiguous mother figure for the boy, who develops an intimate and unusual bond with her, introducing him to a universe in which the real and the imaginary intertwine.
  • Primera persona (Chile; Director: Daniel Peralta): Daniel Peralta (Andrés Reads and Writes) returns to our Festival with this story of a rock musician who moved away from the limelight after he released his first album, a cult classic, at the turn of the century. Selfish and difficult, Julian Cabeza’s fear of failure has led him to a complete musical silence. His 20-year relationship with Aline, his great love, is almost in ruins. Isolated in his cabin on the coast, he meets a couple in their twenties who have their own issues. A friendship of sorts grows between them, as they share stories, memories, disappointments and losses.
  • Corozo (Colombia; Director: Simón Elías): Samir, a disillusioned young writer, has decided to quit everything and embark on a road trip to fulfill his grandfather’s dying wish: to carry a mysterious box from one city to another. In one of his stops he meets Eva, an enigmatic traveler who questions his notions about life, love, death, and existence. Both know that these will probably be their only days together. Shot in 15 days with an iPhone 12 Pro Max, Elías’ feature debut is a close examination of how ephemeral our relationships to one another can be. 
  • The Trek/El trayecto (Dominican Republic; Director: Francisco Valdez): Yasser, Camila, Karina, and Richarson, four friends with distinct personalities, embark on a seemingly simple trek from one beach to another. Unexpected challenges arise when the private struggle of Karina and Richarson with fertility treatments is revealed. This revelation tests the strength of their friendship, turning the trek into a poignant exploration of love, devotion, and the complexities of adulthood. El trayecto is a coming-of-age tale that celebrates the unpredictability of life’s journey, proving that even in the face of uncertainty, true friendship and personal growth can weather any storm.
  • 2 Days in Quito (Ecuador/United Kingdom; Director: Jamal Hepher): Toño, a young taxi driver, is about to be interviewed for a potentially life-changing scholarship with a media giant. His dream comes crashing down when he is told he has to pay $15,000 to be placed on the scholarship. Distraught and with a gun in hand, Toño embarks on an alcohol-fueled night that ends with him pointing a barrel at a wealthy patron. Coming to terms with his recklessness, Toño heads home before picking up one final fare in the early hours of the morning, one that might provide the opportunity he’s looking for.
  • Total Loss/Pérdida total (Mexico; Director: Enrique Begné): ​Claudio Gómez is forced to go to Eagle Pass to sell his truck in order to pay off a violent customer but no one shows any interest. In a moment of desperation, he tries to destroy it to claim “total loss” from the insurance but ends up abandoning it near Torreón. He wants to start life anew, without swindling or lies. But it’s too late; the Torreón Police inform him that his truck has been found with a dead body inside. The dead man is the son of El Rojo, a feared criminal in the area. The nightmare has begun.
  • La herencia de Flora (Perú; Director: Augusto Tamayo): After tackling the life of Saint Rose of Lima, the first Latin American to be canonized by the Catholic Church in “Mystic Rose,” director Augusto Tamayo introduces audiences to the life and work of the 18th century Franco-Peruvian writer Flora Tristán. The film opens as Flora flees from the abuse of a violent husband by traveling to Peru with the goal of claiming her family inheritance. Flora perceives the overwhelming social differences between races and classes in both Arequipa and Lima, as well as the persistence of slavery in Peru. Upon returning to France, she uses her pen to fight for the rights of workers and women. 
  • Hunger/Hambre (Venezuela/Italy/Chile; Director: Joanna Cristina Nelson): In a Venezuela stricken by a decade-long economic and political crisis that has led to the migration of millions of its citizens, two former schoolmates are forced to face an uneasy choice. Roberto, a rigid idealist, works for the ministry of transportation convinced he will never abandon his home country. Abroad in Italy, Selina, a careless brat, works illegally and considers marrying for papers as long as she never has to return to Venezuela. When Roberto gets a job offer abroad and Selina gets trapped in Caracas during Christmas vacation, will they stay behind or migrate?

North American 

  • Hace mucho que no duermo (Argentina; Director: Agustín Godoy): Mapache is a rather dull bureaucrat who finds himself in the middle of a great, big adventure. A mysterious backpack has fallen in his hands and its contents are being sought by a strange group of characters: Dominican hair stylists, four goons and a sinister Duchess. When the backpack is stolen from him by a pickpocket, he has no choice but to go in search of it. Run, Mapache, run! Godoy’s feature debut destroys all notions of genre conventions with this amusing concoction of romance, adventure and guided tour.
  • The Polish Women/As Polacas (Brazil; Director: João Jardim): Escaping from hunger in 19th century Poland, Rebecca, together with her son Joseph, arrives in Brazil to find her husband who came first to the country in the hope of a better life for the three of them. However, Rebecca finds a completely different reality in Rio de Janeiro when she discovers that he passed away and she ends up as a hostage within a large network of prostitution and trafficking of Jewish women. To escape this exploitation, she will need to betray her own beliefs, forever losing her innocence.
  • No One/El fantasma (Chile/Argentina/Brazil; Director Martín Duplaquet): Chile, 2006: the South American country is enjoying an economic bonanza thanks in great part to its chief export, copper. But not everybody is that lucky. Take José, for example, a former bank employee who placed the wrong bet and lost. With nothing left to lose, he goes back to his crime roots and assembles a group of rookies to strike back at the system. José turns into a media star as a cop, Daniel, is hot on his heels. Duplaquet, director of last year’s “Cazadora,” delivers an exhilarating mix of black comedy and police drama where heroes and villains are one and the same.
  • Itzia, Tango & Cacao (Colombia; Director: Flora Martínez): As a small child, Itzia would accompany her father, a bandoneon player, to all his tango concerts. Born deaf and mute, she could feel his music. But fate separated them and now, years later, Itzia (played as an adult by director Martínez), works in the cocoa farms of the village she has called home with her adopted father. Then, one day, she “hears” the sound of the bandoneon calling her from far away. No one believes her and in fact some are sure she is losing her mind. But Itzia cannot ignore the sound of music.
  • Not a Bedtime Story/Cuentos para no dormir (Ecuador; Director: Lila Penagos): As a child, director Lila Penagos’s father Carlos would tell her bedtime stories about his past as a guerrilla fighter in Colombia, some mixed with fantastical elements. Now years later, Lila and her sister Amy (the film’s director of cinematography) take their father on a journey back to uncover the truth behind those tales. It’s a biographical exercise of sorts where interviews, shadow puppet plays, and reenactments paint a portrait of a life and a country in turmoil.
  • The Erection of Toribio Bardelli/La erección de Toribio Bardelli (Peru; Director: Adrián Saba): In Adrián Saba’s cheekily-titled film, Peru’s official entry to the Academy Award for Best International Feature, seventy-year-old Toribio Bardelli has recently become the widower of a cheating wife, and his three adult children, now grown up, have all gone their separate ways. His children pick him up from the police station, when he is arrested for driving with an expired license. Toribio insists on being taken to a pharmacy where, right in front of them, he steals some drugs to help with his erection and runs away, leaving them flabbergasted.
  • The Nothingness Club/Náo Sou Nada (Portugal; Director: Edgar Pêra): Portuguese writer and mystic Fernando Pessoa created dozens of heteronyms or personas that functioned as extensions of him, each with their own distinct personality. Pêra’s surrealist and almost hallucinogenic biopic asks, what if all those personas were real and at the employ of Pessoa? Pêra portrays him as the owner of The Nothingness Club, a vast business empire that includes a publishing house, a private detective agency and even an astrology cabinet. But when each of his “employees” are knocked off one by one, Pessoa seeks the help of his mistress to find the culprit before he loses his mind.
  • Pies en la arena (Puerto Rico/Dominican Republic; Director: Gustavo Ramos Perales): For his second film, Gustavo Ramos Perales (El chata) tackles the one side of the immigration story that is hardly covered by English or Spanish language newscasts: the migration by sea in flimsy boats of hundreds of Dominicans through the treacherous Mona Channel to reach Puerto Rico and, eventually, the United States. Escaping from an abusive relationship, Toña arrives in Puerto Rico illegally to build a new life. She meets Gregorio, an exiled Cuban doctor who is trapped in Puerto Rico with no legal options to regulate his immigration status. An accident will trigger a relationship on which they both depend to move forward.
  • Once Upon a Time in the Caribbean/Érase una vez en el Caribe (Puerto Rico/Spain; Director: Ray Figueroa): A time of poverty and inequality, when honor had no social class. It could easily be feudal Japan, but it’s the Caribbean. Instead of swords, they use machetes. In 1930’s Puerto Rico, Americans were buying every piece of land available. When they can’t get what they want, they take it. Jr. Walker wants Pura for his wife, so he sends his men to kidnap her. What he didn’t know was that Pura already has a husband, Juan Encarnación, once the most feared foreman, and a daughter, Patria. Encarnación will take on all of Jr. Walker’s henchmen to get her back, including old rivals.

US Premiere

  • In the Company of Women/Las buenas compañías (Spain/France; Director: Silvia Munt): Actress and director Silvia Munt takes audiences back to the time when abortion was considered a criminal offense in Spain. It’s the summer of 1976, months after Franco’s death, and 16-year-old Bea joins a group of women in the Basque country whose aim is to secure women’s right to a legal abortion. There she meets Maider, a girl a bit older than her and from a more privileged status with whom she falls in love. What she does not suspect is that Maider keeps a secret that will force Bea to enter the painful world of adults.


The 40th Chicago Latino Film Festival is sponsored by: Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Humboldt Park Health, US Bank, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Lopez & Co., The Whitehall Hotel, Wintrust Bank, Tristan & Cervantes, Illinois Film Office, Prado & Renteria, Azúcar Rococó and Instituto Cervantes

Media Sponsors: La Voz de Chicago, WTTW, CAN-TV, La Raza, Telemundo Chicago/NBC-5, Chicago Latino Network, Negocios Now, InSpanish Media, DBO Films   


The 40th Chicago Latino Film Festival receives additional support from: Chicago’s Cultural Treasures, Reva & David Logan Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Field Foundation /MacArthur Foundation, Art Work Fund, DCASE (Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), and 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, theater and culinary arts. 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 Chicago Latino Music Series, which is celebrating its 18th edition this year; Film in the Parks, also 

in its 18th season; the monthly Reel Film Club, already in its 16th year, the Chicago Latino Dance Festival 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.