The Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) is back for its 28th year Friday, April 13 through Thursday, April 26. The International Latino Cultural Center is the presenting organization of the fest. More than 140 features and short films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States will be showcased during the fest. Aside from special events, screenings will be held at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St., and the Instituto Cervantes, 31 E. Ohio St.
This year's CLFF festivities will include a host of LGBT-themed films with a special tribute (the Gloria Career Achievement Award) being given to the acclaimed gay filmmaker from Catalan, Ventura Pons. Pons will receive the honor in person opening-night special event that includes a screening of his latest movie, a comedy titled Year of Grace. The event, taking place at AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois St., will begin at 6 p.m. and includes a post-screening reception at the River East Arts Center, 435 E. Illinois St.
AMC River East is also the location for a 6 p.m. special screening Monday, April 16 of the highly anticipated Mariachi Gringo, the follow-up to the queer fantasia Were the World Mine from out writer-director Tom Gustafson and his partner, Corey James Krueckeberg. (Both will attend the screening, which includes a catered post-screening reception at River East Arts Center.)
Other LGBT-themed films in the CLFF fest include the following titles (Note: Descriptions come from CLFF press materials.) All foreign films include subtitles.
The Other Family (Mexico): It was never in the plans for Jean Paul and his partner Chema to have children, but when 7-year-old Hendrix, neglected and abandoned by drug-addict mother Nina, comes to them, they soon fall in love. Screens April 20, 23
To Die On My Feet (Mexico): We meet the child of Mexican communist militants, who promotes socialism and the Cuban revolution, with the ideological and physical resemblance to Che Guevara. When faced with a terminal illness he decides to start a life through a personal revolution. The unforeseen events will lead us to discover two distinct revolutionaries in their own right. Screens April 24
Lorca: The Sea Stops Moving (Spain): In an attempt to reconstruct the murder conspiracy of Federico García Lorca, Emilio Ruiz Barrachina visits theories around his death and puts them together to rediscover both the brilliance of Lorca's art and the intricacies of his life. Most important was the missing piece found in the broken silence of the Lorca family, who may have led the assassins straight to the hiding poet. Screens April 26
The Marriage (Uruguay/Argentina): This is a story of a couple, Julia and Ignacio, happily preparing for their wedding. The only idiosyncrasy is that Julia used to be named Oscar. After a short-lived same-sex experience, Oscar followed his true wishes and became Julia so that one day, she could live out her dream of certifying her love for Ignacio on paper. Screens April 13, 21
Gun Hill Road (USA): After three years in prison, Enrique (Esai Morales) returns to the Bronx to an unfamiliar family. He faces his estranged wife, Angela, and son, Michael, whose sexual transformation is not welcomed. We become witnesses as to how these characters confront their issues of machismo and sexual anxiety, and how they overcome the circumstances. Screens April 15, 18
Uniformed (Spain): Margaret is a lonely but very observant girl. Every day she is impacted by numerous code-of-conduct messages connected with fulfilling a concrete social role. Nevertheless, Margaret has a little secret. Screens April 15, 18
Shoebox (US): Mark and his best friend, Luis, are not happy with their single parents. Mark's mother seems more interested in meeting new men and Luis' father believes in old-fashioned tough love. Will they find an escape from their dysfunctional home life? Screens April 14, 15
Complete information on tickets, show times, special events is available at www.chicagolatinofilmfestival.com .