Latino Film Festival Poster

By: Jackie Glosniak

January 30, 2013

It is not every day a student wins a contest among professionals, and when the contest is one among professional artists, it adds much more prestige to the winner’s resume.

Jori Cicale, a senior graphic design major at Dominican, recently won first place in the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago’s 17th Annual Official Poster Contest. The ILCC holds the annual contest to pick the winning submitted design to be used for advertisements promoting the Chicago Latino Film Festival, the biggest event in the nation of its kind featuring over 100 related films.

Cicale did not initially intend on entering such a contest, but did so upon the suggestion of her professor, Jean Bevier.

“I found out about the contest through my graphic design class,” Cicale said. “We had to design a poster as an assignment and after that, we were encouraged by Jean to submit it.”

Cicale’s based her winning design upon inspiration from the Mexican calaveras, or sugar skulls, commonly integrated into the celebration Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Her design was entered among 150 other entries, most of which were submitted by professional artists from throughout the Chicagoland area.

All entries were judged by a panel consisting of seven professionals from the fields of design and marketing and were scored based on their creativity and relation to the film festival. Cicale was announced as the winner at a cocktail event hosted by the ILCC on Thursday, Jan. 17.

“I kept my fingers crossed that I would win, but I was up against already established graphic designers who have had multiple designs that were already published,” Cicale said.

Cicale felt honored and surprised when she heard her piece was selected as the winner.

“My jaw dropped when I heard my name called,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that I was the one. I was filled with excitement.”

With winning the contest, Cicale received a $1,000 award and an invitation to attend the Chicago Latino Film Festival’s opening gala on Apr. 11.

The design is not only something to be used on more than 500,000 programs, posters, t-shirts, and airport banners advertising the film festival, but a work of art which has catapulted exposure of her name in the art world. Since the contest, Cicale has had the chance to meet many local artists and be featured in several newspaper and website interviews.

“It’s a little tiring, but I am really trying to soak up every bit of this experience,” she said.

In the future, Cicale hopes that her award-winning piece will help with job prospects.

“Hopefully, this opportunity will help me in finding a job when I graduate,” Cicale explained. “This is such a bigger thing than I would have ever anticipated, and I am so grateful.”