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47TH CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATES LATIN AMERICAN CINEMA’S BOLD VISIONS
Chicago, IL -- The 47th
Chicago International Film Festival will celebrate the vibrant and innovative
work coming from Mexico, the
Caribbean, and Central and South America in
its Cinema of the Americas program.
The 13 films featured in this year's program are as diverse in approach and
style as the countries they represent. Seven of these 13 feature-length films
will also be screened as part of the Festival’s New Directors, International,
DOCUFEST and After Dark competitions.
Cinema of the
Americas highlights include the Chicago Premiere of Gerardo Naranjo’s
critically acclaimed Miss Bala (Mexico’s
Foreign-Language Oscar® submission); the Cuban zombie comedy Juan of the Dead; past Chicago
International Film Festival Gold Hugo recipient Karim Aïnouz’s latest film, The Silver Cliff; and The Student, Argentinean scriptwriter
Santiago Mitre’s feature directorial debut. Most screenings will feature
special appearances by the filmmakers.
The Festival will
also present three films from Spain
as part of its World Cinema program. Of those, Chico & Rita, is deeply rooted in the Latino experience.
CINEMA OF THE AMERICAS
(Director: Christian Jiménez)-- To read Flaubert and Proust with your
girlfriend after a passionate bout of lovemaking…what more could a young
intellectual want? How about, years later, being asked by a veteran novelist to
type out the handwritten notes for his next novel? Julio is in literary heaven.
But life, like literature, can be surprising, and very soon Julio is forced to
live up to the lies he has been spinning. Told non-linearly, Bonsai presents a charming Chilean spin
to Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past.
The Clown Brazil
(Director: Selton Mello)-- What do those who make people laugh for a living
think is funny? Benjamin, a clown traveling with the Circus Esperanza, tackles
this question and more when he decides to leave the circus and pursue his
dreams. With only a copy of his birth certificate in hand, Benjamin looks for
answers and for his identity away from the bright lights of the big top. North American Premiere. Actress Kity Feo is
scheduled to attend.
Cold Sweat Argentina
(Director: Adrián García Bolagno)-- Online dating? What’s the worst that could
happen? Well, apparently, you could find yourself trapped in an old house at
the mercy of a pair of aging right-wing revolutionaries turned sadists with a
penchant for torturing young women with decaying
dynamite and buckets of nitroglycerin. Prolific
low-budget horror maestro Bogliano serves up a stylish slice of extreme genre
cinema, which also alludes to the troubled state of generational politics in
his homeland. Chicago Premiere. Director Adrián García Bolagno is
scheduled to attend.
Fat, Bald, Short Man Colombia (Director: Carlos Osuna)-- With nothing going in
the looks department, notary Antonio is something of a Colombian George
Costanza: teased by his colleagues, unlucky with the ladies, and the doormat of
all who wish to tread, most notably his gambling-addicted brother. But
Antonio’s luck seems set to take a turn for the better when he gets involved
with a cultish self-help group and an equally unattractive boss takes over the
office. A distinctive animation style and an undeniably heart-warming story
make Fat, Bald, Short Man a surefire
crowd-pleaser. U.S. Premiere. Director Carlos Osuna is
scheduled to attend.
Juan Of The Dead Cuba (Director: Alejandro Brugues)-- Juan is a lovable loser
content to loaf around the streets of Havana wisecracking, womanizing, and
wiling away the days with a motley crew of fellow drifters. But when what seems
at first to be dissident rumblings in the city turns into a full-on
flesh-eating zombie onslaught, Juan and his gang go into business as “Juan of
the Dead”-- a crack team of slayers specializing in the undead. This wild romp
through the streets of the Cuban capital is a perfectly pitched blend of horror
and laughs. Chicago
The Kid Who Lies Venezuela (Director: Marité Ugás)-- In this touching mix of
road movie and coming-of-age story, a 13-year-old boy wanders the roads of
Venezuela alone in search of the mother he never knew. As he makes his way amid
the wreckage left behind by mudslides that hit a coastal town 10 years ago, the
boy shares stories of the tragedy with the people he meets, as he tries to come
to terms with what happened to his family. U.S. Premiere. Director Marité Ugás is scheduled
Machete Language Mexico
(Director: Kyzza Terrazas)-- It’s one thing to talk, or even sing, about
revolution. It’s another to take one up. Raised in middle class families, Ray
and Ramona are not blind to the corruption and injustice that engulf the less
fortunate in their country. Ramona finds an outlet in her music, but Ray
struggles to find a cause-- until he settles on a course of action that might
prove to be downright revolutionary … and lethal.
Shot hand-held, Machete possesses a
nervous, unsettling energy that perfectly mirrors its characters own
near-frenzied search for purpose. North American Premiere. Director Kyzza
Terrazas is scheduled to attend.
Bala Mexico (Director:
Gerardo Naranjo)-- Equal doses of unrelenting action, beauty queen fantasy and
social disquiet rule this detached tale of drug trafficking in Baja California,
inspired by a true story. On her way to compete in her first beauty pageant,
Laura is swept up in a gangland slaying and suddenly finds herself forced to
work as a mule in order to save her own life. Chicago Premiere. Director Gerardo Naranjo is scheduled to attend.
The Silver Cliff Brazil (Director: Karim Aïnouz)-- Violeta, a dentist in Rio de Janeiro, is happily married and still engages in
passionate morning lovemaking with her husband. Then he leaves on business and
calls to tell her he never plans to return. Confused, she begins to wander the
streets, trying to figure out what happened and why. Rio
is as much a protagonist as Violeta, its energetic and melancholic landscapes a
reflection of her changing moods in this
sensual, moving ode to resilience in the face of heartbreaking loss by Gold Hugo winner Karim Aïnouz (Madame Sãta).
Southwest Brazil (Director:
Eduardo Nunes)-- In a small fishing village in Brazil, Clarice experiences her
entire life, beginning at birth, in the space of a day. The villagers remain
oblivious to Clarice’s unique situation, living life just like us, one day at a
time. In an attempt to understand her reality, Clarice tries to change her
destiny as well as the destiny of those around her in this
haunting and thought-provoking film. North
American Premiere. Director Eduardo Nunes is scheduled to attend.
The Student Argentina
(Director: Santiago Mitre)-- Roque goes from young Lothario to activist and
general rabble-rouser in this cleverly plotted parable revealing the underbelly
of Argentinean politics. Set at the University
of Buenos Aires, the
heady mix of sex, intellectualism and shady ploys that would make Richard Nixon
smile, soon become all too real and Roque finds that he’s in way over his head.
With nuanced performances and dynamic pacing, Santiago Mitre’s debut feature
has earned comparisons to Truffaut, Godard and Alexander Payne. Chicago Premiere. Actor Esteban Lamothe is
scheduled to attend.
Ticket To Paradise Cuba
(Director: Gerardo Chijona)-- What would you do to get to paradise? Eunice, no
longer able to tolerate her father’s abuse, flees the small town she calls
home. She falls in with the “freakies”, a gang of hard-living street kids, who
embrace her, but then the group finds out that the local AIDS facility offers
food, clothing, and shelter. Eunice once again finds herself alone as the rest
of the group decides they want in--whatever the cost. A dark, controversial, and highly compelling chronicle of disaffected
youth culture in Cuba.
Chicago Premiere. Director Gerardo Chijona is
scheduled to attend.
Valley Of The Forgotten Brazil (Director: Maria Raduan)-- In a secluded area of
Brazil’s Mato Grosso region, an impossible land dispute rages between Indians
evicted from their homeland, squatters, land-grabbers, the Landless Workers
Movement, and the ranchers who own property. With no resolution in sight and
violence threatening to erupt at any moment, the film looks closely at each
group’s perspective, offering a meditation on the concept of private property
across social and cultural boundaries. U.S. Premiere.
Amador (Director: Fernando León de Aranoa)-- Marcela’s pregnancy
couldn’t have come at a worse time. A Latin American immigrant living in the outskirts
Marcela is stuck in a stagnant relationship with a man who works a dead-end job
selling flowers. Things begin to improve when she’s hired to care for a
friend’s ailing father, Amador. When Amador suddenly dies, leaving her jobless,
Marcela is faced with an unusual moral dilemma in this heartfelt drama about
life and death. Chicago
Chico & Rita (Directors:
Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba)-- Amidst the Afro-Cuban
rhythms of Havana in the 1940s, Chico and Rita fall immediately in love. But
infidelity and their respective pursuit of fame both unite and pull them apart
for the next six decades. Spanish filmmaker and music producer Fernando Trueba
(La Belle Epoque, Calle 54), graphic artist Javier Mariscal and animator Tono
Errando pay tribute to the great Afro-Cuban and Be-bop musicians of the 40s and
50s in this delightfully sensuous animated film. Chicago Premiere.
The Double Steps (Director: Isaki Lacuesta)-- Prepare to be taken over by
this delightfully enigmatic storyline that traverses centuries, continents and
cultures. The “double steps” in question refers to advice left by French artist
François Augiéras, who claimed the best way to escape one’s enemies is to walk
backwards over your own footprints. Using one of Augiéras’ lost works as the
catalyst for the story, filmmaker Isaki Lacuesta and painter Miquel Barceló
weave together the structure and iconography
of the road movie with African griot storytelling. North American Premiere.
except Opening Night, are at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois Street. Tickets for the
47th Chicago International Film Festival are on sale now. Opening Night tickets
and festival passes may be purchased on the Festival website. All individual tickets
must be purchased by phone 312-332-FILM (3456), in person by visiting the
Festival box office at AMC River East 21, or through Ticketmaster.
Led by Presenting Partner, Columbia College Chicago, the
47th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include: Premiere Partners-- American Airlines, Lincoln; Producing Partners-- AMC Theaters, DePaul
University's School of Cinema and Interactive Media, The Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partners-- Allstate, Intersites; Supporting
Partners--Applitite, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Brugal Rum, Kodak, Second
City Computers, WBBM, and the Festival's Headquarters Hotel, JW Marriott
is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to
encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive
contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International
Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago,
which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the
Hugo Television Awards (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition
(October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.
and press materials go to http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/press/ ;
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