39th Chicago Latino Film Festival Opens and Closes with Films Directed by Women

The 39th Chicago Latino Film Festival announces today the selection of Claudia Sainte Luce’s offbeat comedy about second chances, Love & Mathematics, as its Opening Night film on Thursday April 13, and Mamacruz, Patricia Ortega’s kinky and poignant comedy about sexual awakening among the elderly, for its Closing Night gala on Saturday, April 22.

Both Opening and Closing Night galas will take place at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m and events will start at 6:30 p.m.; the events will conclude with a post-screening party at Chez, 247 E. Ontario. Tickets for both galas are $75 general / $65 for ILCC members. Tickets will be sold at an early bird rate of $60 for early bird until Tuesday, March 21st and can be purchased online at Eventive. Admission includes the film screening and reception. Cocktail attire is strongly encouraged. 

Love & Mathematics lead actor Roberto Quijano (Netflix’s The House of Flowers) is scheduled to attend the Opening Night gala.

In Love & Mathematics, Claudia Sainte-Luce (The Amazing Catfish) delivers a droll, offbeat and sometimes darkly funny comedy about glories past, consumerism and breaking away from social norms. Back in the day Billy Lozano used to be a member of the one-hit boy band Equinoccio. Today, he is a suburban stay-at-home dad in Monterrey, Mexico, taking care of his newborn child, patiently dealing with former female fans who want to take a selfie with him at the grocery store, and being part of his brother’s get-rich-quick schemes. But when his neighbor from across the street, a former fan herself, encourages him to resume his music career, Billy finally begins to see a way out of his doldrums.

Praised by Paste Magazine for lead actress Kiti Mánver’s (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) virtuosic performance after its premiere at Sundance this year, Mamacruz tells the story Cruz (Kiti Manver), a religiously devout woman who seeks affection from her dull husband. Both are taking care of their precocious granddaughter Viki after her mother leaves for Vienna in pursuit of a career as a professional dancer. One night, Cruz accidentally clicks on a porn website. Mortified at first, she finds herself rediscovering her own desires and seeks the help of a local women’s sex therapy group. Patricia Ortega’s new feature (her previous film, Yo imposible/Being Impossible, was an Official Selection of the 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival) is a sensitive and nuanced portrait of sexual reawakening.

“From the early days of cinema, Iberoamerican women have played a vital role in producing, screenwriting, acting, editing, and directing films. Today, a new generation of women filmmakers are following in the footsteps of these pioneers and creating work that is vibrant, original and groundbreaking. We’ve featured the work of both Claudia and Patricia in past festivals and their two new films, as different as night and day, will delight and challenge audiences,” said Pepe Vargas, founder & executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center and founder of the Festival.

Produced by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, the 39th Chicago Latino Film Festival will run from April 13th to April 23rd at the Landmark Century Center, 2828 N. Clark St. with a special screening at Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St., on Wednesday, April 19. The full program will be unveiled March 21st. 

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