Three official selections from the 39th Chicago Latino Film Festival have been selected by their respective countries to represent them for the Oscar for Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards next year. The short list will be announced on December 21 and the final five nominations on January 23, 2024. Those four films are: The Visitor/El visitante (Bolivia); A Male/Un varón (Colombia); and I Have Electric Dreams/Tengo sueños eléctricos (Costa Rica).

Set in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba, Martin Boulocq’s The Visitor focuses on Humberto whose greatest wish, after his recent release from prison, is to rebuild his relationship with his estranged daughter and provide her with a decent life. But her grandparents—wealthy Evangelical pastors—are not willing to give up custody. Bullied into a corner financially and ideologically, Humberto is forced to face his own demons while simultaneously fighting a powerful ecclesiastical institution to which he once belonged., The Visitor is a somber meditation on class, family relationships, and the increasing power of Evangelism in Latin America. 

A Male, Fabián Hernández’s feature debut, tells the story of Carlos, a resident in a youth shelter in the center of Bogotá, who longs to spend Christmas day with his mother and sister even if it means that he will have to abide by the law of the strongest when his manhood is challenged. 

Winner of the Best Director, Best Actress and Best Actor Award at the Locarno International Film Festival and the Horizon Awards at San Sebastian, I Have Electric Dreams, Valentina Maurel’s feature debut centers on Eva, a strong-willed and restless 16-year-old girl who lives with her mother, her younger sister and their cat, who desperately wants to move in with her estranged father. Clinging onto him as he goes through a second adolescence, she balances between the tenderness and sensitivity of teenage life and the ruthlessness of the adult world.

The Chicago Latino Film Festival, held April 13th-April 23rd, 2023, presented 51 features and 35 shorts from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States in three venues throughout the city: AMC River East 21 Theaters, 322 E. Illinois St.; Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St.; and the Landmark Century Center, 2828 N. Clark St. 

The 40th Chicago Latino Film Festival will be held April 11th-21st, 2024. Programming will be announced in the early spring.