20th Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival

November 29, 2007 2:55:04 PM PST
ABC 7 Chicago's "Ñ Beat," hosted by General Assignment Reporter, Theresa Gutierrez, is a series of locally produced half-hour specials featuring prominent Latinos who are making a difference in the community. This episode will focus on The 20th Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival. It is now regarded as the premiere Latino film festival in the country, with a roster of more than 100 films representing Latinos worldwide. The Festival continues to dispel stereotypes and provoke the audience to challenge mainstream ideas about the Latino identity by showing, through film, that Latinos are defined by more than 20 Latin countries and come from all social and racial backgrounds. Gutierrez is joined by ABC 7's Co-Anchor of the Sunday Morning News and General Assignment Reporter, Stacey Baca; and General Assignment Reporter, John Garcia, regular contributors to "Ñ Beat."

In this special edition of "Ñ Beat," we meet inspirational high school and college students who have films in the festival. Through the Latino Art Beat program and a partnership with Columbia College Chicago, these students were able to create their own films and participate in this year's festival.

Chicago filmmaker, Miguel Guevara, is also featured in "Ñ Beat." Guevara has produced a powerful documentary on immigration. This son of Mexican immigrants teaches citizenship classes and is focused on giving back to his community. It's this experience, with his immigrant students, that encouraged Miguel to shoot his powerful documentary.

Also highlighted are students from the Harriet Beecher Stowe Fine and Performing Arts Academy. These students collaborated with Argentinean filmmakers to create an animation short that was shown in the festival. They are part of an after-school program known as the Voices of Freedom Film and Video Club where students from different grade levels come together in the afternoon and produce films from scripts they themselves create and develop.

Jose "Pepe" Vargas, a Colombian native, Film Festival Director and Chicago cultural leader is celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Chicago Latino Film Festival by planning a $50 million fundraising campaign for a new home for the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, currently housed in modest offices at Columbia College.

"Ñ Beat" is produced by Lisa Lubin.

Chicago Latino Film Festival
Latino Cultural Center

Latino Art Beat
PO Box 87458
Chicago, IL 60680

Columbia College Chicago
Latino Cultural Affairs

Instituto Del Progresso Latino
2570 S. Blue Island
Chicago, IL 60608

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