The 40th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) announced today the selection of The Wingwalker, Alonso Álvarez-Barreda’s moving and suspenseful feature debut about a deported father who will do anything to go back to the United States to take care of his ailing daughter, as its Opening Night film on Thursday, April 11th, and Milonga, Laura González’s feature debut starring Paulina García (Gloria, Little Men), for its Closing Night gala on Monday, April 22nd

Both galas will take place at the Davis Theatre, 4614 N. Lincoln Ave. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and events will start at 6:15 p.m. The events will conclude with a post-screening party at DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, 4740 N. Western Ave. Tickets for each gala are $75 general / $65 for ILCC members. Tickets will be sold at an early bird rate of $60 for each gala until Thursday, March 14th and can be purchased online on Eventbrite. Admission includes the film screening and reception. Cocktail attire is strongly encouraged. For more information visit

Omar Chaparro, director Alonso Álvarez-Barreda, Chicago actor and writer Max Arciniega are scheduled to attend the Opening Night gala.

Starring Mexican actor and comedian Omar Chaparro and Teatro Vista Ensemble member Max Arciniega (who also co-wrote and executive produced the film), The Wingwalker is the story of Julian, a father and widower whose life takes an unexpected turn when a misdemeanor lands him in jail and he is eventually deported to Mexico. Julian’s nine-year-old daughter, Sofia, who has been diagnosed with a terminal heart disease and is scheduled for a heart transplant in two weeks, is left in the care of her irresponsible uncle, Nick. Knowing the possibility of never seeing his daughter alive again is real, Julian fights to go back by any means necessary. In the process, he comes face to face with the harsh realities faced by many migrants who make their way to the U.S. border. The Wingwalker is a moving, suspenseful, sometimes terrifying exploration of one of the most urgent issues facing this country today.

Paulina García delivers in Milonga a stunning and moving performance as Rosa, a woman who, six months after her husband’s death, lives alone in the family home and with her memories of a violent relationship. Rosa doesn’t even dare enter her husband’s private office. Her son is in jail and makes it quite clear that the less he hears from her the better. A friend tells her of a new milonga but Rosa hesitates. She hires Juan, a local handyman and fellow tango lover, to do some work around the house. She is clearly attracted to him. But is Juan her knight in shining armor? Shot entirely from Rosa’s point of view, Laura González’s feature debut, is a quietly observant film about the psychological mark and almost paralyzing fear left behind by an abusive relationship. 

“Out of those 50 features programmed for this 40th anniversary, half are first features, which is a testament to the vitality and vibrancy of 21st Century Iberoamerican cinema. It felt right to open and close our anniversary celebration with two films that not only speak to the times that we live in but which call attention to and celebrate a new generation of filmmakers,” said Pepe Vargas, Executive Director and Founder of the International Latino Cultural Center.  

Produced by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, regular screenings for the 40th Chicago Latino Film Festival will take place from April 12th to April 21st at the Landmark Century Center, 2828 N. Clark St. with a special screening at Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St., on Wednesday, April 17. The full program will be unveiled March 21st. 

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


Born in México City and raised in the small town of Tampico, Alonso Álvarez-Barreda directed his first short, Historia de un Letrero, on a $50 budget using borrowed equipment and his friends as actors. It went on to win the Best Short Film Award at Cannes Film Festival in 2008. Álvarez-Barreda’s third short, Crescendo, an 18th century period piece shot entirely in German about the birth of Beethoven screened in over 30 international film festivals including Telluride and New York and was a finalist for the 2013 Oscars®. In 2014, Álvarez-Barreda was one of four filmmakers selected for the first ever HBO Access Directing Fellowship. The program culminated in the production of his short, The Walk, starring Max Arciniega (Breaking Bad). Since then, Alvarez-Barreda has helmed a dozen episodes of television including The Mosquito Coast for Apple TV, The Lincoln Lawyer for Netflix, Mayans M.C. for FX, and The Chi for SHOWTIME, among others. The Wingwalker is his first feature.

Laura González (Uruguay) is a writer, director and producer. A Berlinale Talent Alumni (Berlin International Film Festival 2014) and a Filmworks Programme Alumni (UK, 2012), she founded La Uruguaya Films and produced the short films: La pelota de fútbol/The Football (2009) and Cada vez que me acuerdo, me olvido / Every Time I Remember, I Forget (2011), selected at festivals worldwide. MIlonga is her first feature film.


The 40th Chicago Latino Film Festival is sponsored by: Tito’s Hand-made 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.