The 36th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival wraps up Sunday. It’s the festival’s first time going all virtual. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the festival brought together 44 features and 38 short films from across the world.
“We never thought about canceling the festival,” said festival director Pepe Vargas. “We had to do what we can, and at this time, the only thing possible is (to) go virtual.”
Vargas, who’s also the founder of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, says this year’s festival has dozens of feature length and short films from around the world. But he hopes to see more Latinos in mainstream American filmmaking.
“They have taken us for a ride. Latinos are the ones who attend (movies) the most, meaning Hollywood is making tons of money. … Latinos in front of the camera or behind the camera” are the least represented filmmakers of color, Vargas said.