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Latinos in the Spotlight

Over-the-top "telenovelas" are watched the world over. But at Chicago's Latino Film Festival, moviemakers from across the globe get a chance to show audiences the best of their craft.

Like many Latinos in the city, the Chicago Latino Film Festival had humble beginnings. First held in 1985 with 14 movies projected on a concrete wall for an audience of a few hundred, the festival has grown into one of the country's largest Latino movie festivals, screening dozens of films for crowds numbering in the thousands.

Every year the festival continues to grow, showing movies from Iberia and from throughout Latin America. Throughout the year, the film festival's parent organization, the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, also provides cultural events that embrace all forms of Latino art, from dance and theatre to literature and music. All images courtesy of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago.

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Check out some of the other film festivals that happen in Illinois every year: the International Children's Film Festival and the Festival for Cinema of the Deaf, both taking place in Chicago, the Big Muddy Film Fest in Carbondale and the Beyond Normal Film Fest in the city of Normal.

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Visit with Pepe Vargas, Executive Director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, and learn about the mission of the fest.


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From the Brazilian film "Cafun."

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From the American movie "Se Habla Español."

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From the Cuban and Spanish movie "El Rey en La Habana."


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