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  • 04 / 25 / 2010

The Chicago Latino Film Festival has grown from 500 attendees in 1985 to more than 35,000 in 25 years, which is clear evidence of the great demand for quality Latino art programming in Chicago.

As noted in Hispanic Magazine, "the Chicago Latino Film Festival is now the largest, oldest and best Latino film festival in the country."

 As the oldest and most comprehensive Latino film festival in the country, it presents over 100 films in an array of genres fiction and documentaries that reflect the great diversity of Latino culture in the United States, Latin America, Portugal, and Spain.

The Thing That Moves, (Eso que anda), video documentary by Ian Padron being exhibited at the 26 edition of the Latino Films Festival in the United States follows the legendary Cuban band Los Van Van on its 2006 national tour, during which founder,
leader, and bassist Juan Formell passed the torch to his son, drummer Samuel. (Juan has continued to work with the band, though, and recently performed with it in Miami.)

Band members past and present, musicologists, and noted composer Pablo Milanes discuss Los Van Van's enduring power over nearly four decades, their interviews punctuated by stunning vintage performance footage.

Starting in 1969, Formell radically modernized Cuban charanga with electric instruments and funky grooves, and over the decades the band has managed to adapt to changing tastes. But as the video makes plain, Los Van Van has long since become an institution, which has made such reinvention all the harder.

* Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader and notes from the Latino Cultural Center's web site

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