Chicago Latino film fest opens

Some 37 films, including three from the Windy City and 23 from abroad (including three from Cuba, always popular), are featured at the 23rd annual Chicago Latino Film Festival, April 13-26.

The films, including many documentaries and shorts, are being shown at the Landmark (Clark and Diversey), Piper’s Alley (North and Wells) and Facets (Ashland and Fullerton). All have English subtitles if needed. Films are subject to change; you can call the hotline at (312) 409-1757.

Ticket prices are $10; $9 for seniors, disabled and students; and $8 for members of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC). The best deal is the membership, starting at $35, which also gives you access to a lending library of about 300 films. You can buy a festival pass for $80, see 10 films and save $20.

The ILCC also sponsors music, art, dance and comedy throughout the year, besides hosting the nation’s oldest and largest Latino film fest.

Eight films made by high-school students from Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Miami will compete for an award.

With film fest founder Pepe Vargas on leave for the third year in a row, Brazilian Ariana Freidl is heading this year’s festival arrangements.

Freidl told the World, “First and foremost, the idea is to have a film festival to show off Latino culture, which we’re so proud of. We want all people to come and taste and feel and share in that culture. We want to open up doors of discussion and dialogue and break down stereotypes and racist images that keep people divided.”

Also check out the Chicago Palestine Film Festival, April 14-26, at the Gene Siskel Film Center. For details, see www.palestinefilmfest.com.