Interview: Pepe Vargas of the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival, Sept. 18-27, 2020

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CHICAGO – One of Chicago’s most traditional film festivals will be doing what so many others have done in 2020, going virtual and online. The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) will take place September 18th-27th. For a full schedule, click here. Founder and Executive Director Pepe Vargas talked to about the fest.

The Festival was originally scheduled for April 16th-30th, but was postponed on March 13th when the State of Illinois and City of Chicago ordered the cancellations of events during the pandemic quarantine. The virtual festival will be working with a streaming platform that will gives a festival patron four days to access a film for the price of the download. As with the live version of the Festival, each feature will be paired with a thematically appropriate short film. Festival organizers will announce their schedule of Q&As (live or pre-taped) with select filmmakers on their social media platforms and website (see below).

The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival
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The Founder and Executive Director of CLFF, Pepe Vargas, was born in Columbia and became a lawyer who worked in Buenos Aires. In the next chapter of his life, he moved to Chicago and studied Broadcast Journalism at Columbia College. It was there he developed his love for film and filmmaking, and founded the Chicago Latino Film Festival in 1985. He has has evolved the Festival ever since into one of the largest of its kind in the United States. He also directs the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, which branches out to other artistic expressions of LatinX culture.

In an interview via Zoom, Pepe Vargas spoke with Patrick McDonald of about going virtual in 2020, and this new experience for festival leadership and the audience.

The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival and will take place Virtual and Online from September 18th-27th, 2020. For more information, click here. Follow CLFF on Facebook (@ChicagoLatinoFilmFestival), Twitter (@ChiLatinoFilm) and Instagram (@ChiLatinoFilm). senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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© 2020 Patrick McDonald,

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