Juan José Campanella’s delightfully dark comedy The Weasel’s Tale won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature at the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival held virtually this year. The Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary went to Jaime Murciego and Pablo Iraburu’s moving documentary Cholitas about a group of Aymará who climb Argentina’s Aconcagua Mountain.
The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival held virtually from Sept. 18 to Sept. 27 in Chicago and throughout the State of Illinois presented 44 feature and 38 shorts. Even though CLFF is a non-competitive festival, since 1993 the public has had the opportunity to vote for their favorite film in several categories and presents them with the Audience Choice Award.
“This Festival was an epic undertaking and its success is due to a committed staff, to a strong core of volunteers, to our board of directors, our sponsors, foundations and the government agencies that support the arts in Chicago,” said Pepe Vargas, Executive Director of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago and founder of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. “They all strongly believe in our core mission of building bridges across cultures through the arts… I am most in debt with the filmmakers for lending their talent and our public who, from the comfort of their homes, watched the close to 100 features and shorts films that were presented.”
36th Chicago Latino Film Festival Audience Choice Awards
The winners and runner-ups of the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival Audience Choice Awards are:
The Weasels’ Tale / El cuento de las comadrejas (Argentina/Spain; Director: Juan José Campanella): Juan José Campanella pays tribute to the golden age of Argentinean cinema in his first live action film since The Secret in Their Eyes. Legendary actress Maya Ordaz (Graciela Borges from La Ciénaga), her wheelchair-bound husband Diego (Luis Brandoni), retired film director and weasel hunter Norberto (Oscar Martínez) and scriptwriter Martin (Marcos Mundstock) live together in a old mansion. Their bickering and constant clashes are no different than the ones they once experienced on a movie set. That may come to an end now that she plans to sell the mansion to an unscrupulous millennial couple. The Weasels’ Tale is a deliciously witty and sharply written dark comedy.
RUNNER UP: Days of Light/Días de luz (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama; Directors: Sergio Ramírez, Enrique Medrano, Julio López, Gloria Carrión, Mauro Borges, Enrique Pérez Him)
Cholitas (Bolivia, Spain, Argentina; Directors: Jaime Murciego, Pablo Iraburu): They used to cater to the mostly male mostly mountaineers that scaled the high peaks of the Andes, until they decided to try it on their own. Wearing their traditional Aymará outfits, these five indigenous women will overcome every obstacle Mother Nature throws at them as they climb Argentina’s Aconcagua, at 22,808 feet, the highest mountain in the Americas. Murciego’s and Iraburu’s documentary is an awe-inspiring portrait of bravery and empowerment.
RUNNER UP: Cachada: The Opportunity (El Salvador; Dir. Marlén Viñayo
One / Uno (Spain; Director: Javier Marco Rico: Far out at sea, a cell phone floating inside a plastic bag starts to ring. The fisherman that answers the phone finds a situation impossible to solve on the other end of the line.
RUNNER-UP: Under the Skyway (USA; Director: Daniel Laboy Valdez)