October in Chicago marks the transition into cooler weather, the change of color in tree foliage, and the beginning of fall. During this time of year, I like to mourn the brutal winter that lays ahead and commence my hibernation period. My Latin blood kicks in and orders me to say “no” to fun and remain indoors, because it’s warmer and cozier. This is when I try to accept and cope with the fact that I will be miserably cold for the next 5-6 months. I know, dramatic, but true. However, this year I am bowing not to give in to this depressing behavior as this month brings the Chicago International Film Festival and Artists Month. Both offer an incredibly exciting array of films, exhibits, and a plethora of must-attend events. I plan to remain active in the wake of the looming winter and I hope you join me too.
The Chicago International Film Festival was founded in 1964 and it’s the longest-running competitive film festival in North America. I became aware of it when I was at UIC and attend every year, granted life happens sometimes and I don’t always make it. But when I do, I walk away inspired and grateful for the exposure of diverse cinema we get in Chicago. This year marks their 51st anniversary, featuring 130 films from 50+ countries and it runs from October 15th - 29th. Trying to choose movies to see can prove overwhelming so, I offer you the ones I plan to catch: Eisenstein in Guanajuato, Paulina, Road to La Paz, Orphans of Eldorado, Women He’s Undressed, I Smile Back as well as the animated + storytelling shorts. I am really looking forward to these and hope some of these interest you.
This year, the theme of “city as studio” is celebrated as part of the 20th Annual Chicago Artists Month (CAM). CAM is a program brought by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs + Special Events and is used as a platform to showcase the works of Chicago’s artists and creatives. From October 1st through November 15th, the windy city explores migration, renewal, connection and discovery through the CAM initiative to highlight artists, architects, designers, performers and creatives. I am stoked for all the events and exhibits being held throughout Chi. Here are my recommendations:
- City of Big Dreams Fest (Oct 16th)
- Naked Line in Pilsen & Mexico Connection (Oct 2nd – 18th)
- 18th Street Open Studios (Oct 24th – 25th)
- Altares de Humo y Hueso (Oct 2nd – 30th)
- Historias de Mi ‘Ama (Oct 9th – 30th)
- Chicago Day of the Dead Celebration (Nov 1st)
- Chicagoland Shorts: Expanded Cinema (Nov 6 – 7th)
- The Ultra-Terrestrials: Utopian and Cult Architecture in Brazil (Nov 9th)
- Open TV: Pilots by Women + Feminine-Spectrum Artists (Nov 15th)
- 2nd Annual “Salon Style” Exhibition (Sept 18th – Nov 20th)
- “Espiritu Monarca” A Dia de los Muertos Celebration (Oct 31st – Nov 29th)
I know, my plan of action is ambitious! I hope you attend some of these upcoming events, exhibits and cinema offerings. Chicago is an amazingly multicultural and diverse city, let’s take advantage of it! If you live in Chicago and some of these events and films pique your interest, join me in discovering our city.