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

This content has been archived. It may no longer be relevant

CHICAGO (March 14, 2023) – 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 each gala 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. 


Claudia Sainte-Luce is a Mexican writer, director, and actress. Born in Veracruz, she graduated in visual arts from the University of Guadalajara, made some short films, and worked as an assistant director for various Mexican films before writing her own scripts. Her debut feature The Amazing Catfish (an official selection of the 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival) premiered at the Locarno Film Festival, where it received the Best Film Award by the Young Jury. The film played at numerous international film festivals and won many prizes, including Best Latin American Film at Mar del Plata and Best Mexican Film at Los Cabos. In 2022 Claudia had the world premiere of her previous film The Realm of God at the Berlinale and Love & Mathematics at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Patricia Ortega is the founder of Mandrágora Films and graduated in social communication from the International School of Film and Television of San Antonio de los Baños EICTV (Cuba) in the specialty of direction (2003-2005). She also graduated from the Filmakademie in Ludwigsburg (Germany) in the specialty of documentary direction (2006). She directed her first fiction feature film in 2018, entitled Yo, Imposible. Prior to that she directed the feature documentary El regreso (2013) and short Pasajes as well as the fictional short  Al otro lado del mar (2006).


The 39th Chicago Latino Film Festival is sponsored by: Tito’s Hand-made Vodka, Humboldt Park Health, US Bank, Xfinity, Lopez & Co., The Whitehall Hotel, Tristan & Cervantes, Illinois Film Office, Consulate of Chile, Prado & Renteria and Instituto Cervantes

Media Sponsors: WBEZ/Vocalo, WTTW, CAN-TV, La Raza, Telemundo Chicago/NBC-5, Chicago Latino Network, LatinBisToday, InSpanish, DBO Films   


The 39th Chicago Latino Film Festival receives additional support from: Chicago’s Cultural Treasures, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Field Foundation, MacArthur Foundation / Prince Charitable Trusts, League of Chicago Theaters/ComEd, Art Works Fund, DCASE (Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), National Endowment for the Arts and Illinois Arts Council  


The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago is a pan-Latino, nonprofit, multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to developing, promoting, and increasing awareness of Latino cultures among Latinos and other communities by presenting a wide variety of art forms and education including film, music, dance, visual arts, comedy, theater and culinary arts. The Center prides itself for its outstanding multidisciplinary local and international cultural programming which spans Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and the United States. Born out of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago also produces other programs, including the Chicago Latino Music Series, which is celebrating its 17th edition this year; Film in the Parks, also in its 17th season; the monthly Reel Film Club, already in its 15th year; and many others. All in all, the audience has grown from 500 people in 1985 for the first Chicago Latino Film Festival to more than 70,000 (Latinos and non-Latinos) who enjoy the year-round multidisciplinary cross-cultural exchanges offered by the Center.

Leave a Comment