Ten features will have their North American premiere at the Festival, six their U.S. premiere and nine their Midwest Premiere.

Films will screen virtually from April 9-18 across the Midwest with three special presentations in Chicago’s ChiTown Movies Drive-In on April 8, 12 and 17. Pre-recorded and live post-screening conversations with filmmakers have been added to the program.

CHICAGO (April 1, 2021) – The 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival will open its virtual and Drive-In doors to residents of Illinois and the Midwest states of Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin next Thursday, April 8 with the previously announced Opening Night Drive-In presentation of Lissette Feliciano’s feature debut Women Is Losers starring Lorenza Izzo at ChiTown Movies, 2343 S. Throop in Chicago. Director Lissette Feliciano and producer David Ortiz will be present for Opening Night.

There are two additional Drive-In screenings: the Centerpiece presentation of Mariém Pérez Riera’s documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It on Monday, April 12 and the Closing Night Drive-in exclusive screening of Marco Carnevale’s El cuartito on Saturday, April 17.

Presented by Corona Extra and produced by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, the Festival’s slate of 45 features and 36 shorts from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States, includes ten North American premieres (including El cuartito), six U.S. premieres and nine Midwest premieres. Films will be available through Eventive’s virtual platform to residents of Illinois and, with some exceptions, the Midwest states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana from midnight on April 9 until 11:45 pm on Sunday, April 18.

“In making our films available outside of Illinois we are not only expanding our audience but giving the growing Latino communities in those states the opportunity to have access to films they might not otherwise see. Through our three drive-in screenings, we want to bring back that communal experience that is so fundamental to moviegoing and which we long for. One thing is true: films will always connect us to the rest of the world, no matter how or where we watch them,” said Pepe Vargas, founder and executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center, producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival.

CLFF remains a non-competitive festival. However, 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 winner will be announced on April 22.


The Festival will be presenting a series of pre-recorded and live conversations with select filmmakers as part of their program. The pre-recorded interviews, in English and Spanish with English subtitles, with the following filmmakers (with more to be confirmed) will play right after their respective film: actress Mariana DiGirolamo and director Leonardo Medel (La Verónica); director Nicolás Rincón Gille (Valley of Souls); director Alejandro Marino (Sand Eyes); director Sebastián Lojo (The Ghosts); director Paul Venegas (Emptiness); director Emily Cohen Ibáñez and documentary subject Ashley Solís (Fruits of Labor), director Medhin Tewolde Serrano (Negra); director Michèle Stephenson and documentary subject Rosa Iris (Stateless); director Mariém Pérez Riera (Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It); director Nicole Costa and subject Iván Monalisa (The Journey of Monalisa).

The following confirmed live interviews will stream on the Festival’s Facebook page,, on the following dates and times: Monday, April 12 at 1 pm CST with director Bárbara Paz (Babenco: Tell Me When I Die); Wednesday, April 14 at 4 pm CST with director Rodrigo Reyes (499); and Friday, April 16 at 1 pm CST with director Iuli Gerbase (The Pink Cloud). 

These conversations are conducted by: Carmelo Esterrich, Associate Professor of Humanities and Cultural Studies in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences, Columbia College; Raúl Benítez, Lead Programmer for Full Spectrum Features’ annual shorts program and Senior Film Programmer at the Midwest Film Festival as well as Programmer for Comfort Station and The Nightingale; Rocío Santos, Host of Domingos en Vocalo and WLUW’s Rock sin anestesia: Sophie Gordon, Programming Manager for the Chicago Latino Film Festival; María Valencia, Media Operations Manager for the Chicago Latino Film Festival; and Alejandro Riera, Media Relations Coordinator for the Chicago Latino Film Festival as well as film critic for several online outlets and publicist for several cultural events and organizations including the Chicago International Film Festival.

Visit the Festival’s Facebook page for updates on these conversations.


For the full synopsis of these films, visit:

North American

  • Sand Eyes/Ojos de Arena (Argentina)
  • Diablada (Chile, Venezuela)
  • Dirty River/Río sucio (Costa Rica)
  • Emptiness/Vacío (Ecuador, Uruguay, Colombia)
  • The Whisper of the Marimba/El murmullo de la marimba (Ecuador, Germany)
  • The Journey/La travesía (El Salvador)
  • La Condesa (Honduras, USA)
  • Ambush/Emboscada (Mexico)
  • El cuartito (Puerto Rico)
  • Tristesse (Spain)

U.S. Premieres

  • The Heist of the Century/El robo del siglo (Argentina)
  • La Verónica (Chile)
  • Cuba Creates/Cuba Crea (Cuba, Spain)
  • Causa Justa (Panamá)
  • Killing the Dead/Matar a un muerto (Paraguay)
  • Carmen Vidal: Female Detective/Carmen Vidal: Mujer Detective (Uruguay)

Midwest Premieres

  • Executive Order/Medida provisória (Brazil)
  • Diablada (Chile, Venezuela)
  • The Journey of Monalisa/El viaje de Monalisa (Chile, USA)
  • Submersible/Sumergible (Colombia, Ecuador)
  • Sun in the Water/Sol en el agua (Dominican Republic)
  • The Ghosts/Los fantasmas (Guatemala, Argentina)
  • Negra (Mexico)
  • Surdine/Surdina (Portugal)
  • Opposite Direction/Dirección opuesta (Venezuela)


Tickets for all Drive-in screenings (Opening and Closing Night and Centerpiece) 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 will be done at the Drive-in. The gates open at 6:00 pm with the film scheduled to start at 7:30 pm

Tickets for the 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.


Sponsors of the 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival are: 

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


The Chicago Latino Film Festival receives additional support from: Instituto Cervantes, 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.


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.