10:40 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.


Pepe Vargas | Chicago Latino Film Festival

Pepe Vargas is the Founder & Executive Director of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago. Under his direction, the Chicago Latino Film Festival has evolved into the largest Latino film festival in the U.S., growing an audience of more than 70,000 people over the last 30 years.

Born in Colombia, Vargas received his degree in Law from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He went on to study at Columbia College Chicago where he earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism & Television/Film production. In 2003, Vargas received Chicago Tribune’s Chicagoan of the Year award and an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Lake Forest College. In 2006, he won the Fellowship from the Chicago Community Trust, which allowed him to travel extensively through Latin America, Spain, France, and the United States visiting other cultural institutions. In 2011, the Chicago Tribune named Vargas a Remarkable Person, and in 2015, Crain’s Chicago featured him in their “Take Away” column.