LGBT Docs at 25th Anniversary Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival!


Today, Friday, October 7th, the 25th Anniversary Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival kicks off 10 days of critically acclaimed documentaries with special guests from around the world. 

As somebody who follows Kaleidoscope we wanted to make sure you knew about these 4 feature films and 1 short film centered around the LGBT community. These films continue Kaleidoscope’s mission to provide innovative and unique programming that will engage the hearts and minds of audiences in the State of Arkansas and the surrounding region. 

We hope you are just as excited as we are to join in the celebration of 25th annimeray of the oldest documentary film festival in North America!

Note that all four of the feature length films have special guests in attendance.

Click here to purchase your pass to HSDFF25!

Saturday, October 8 • 10:15am - 11:45am

Memories of a Penitent Heart

D: Cecilia Aldarondo | USA/Puerto Rico | 77 min | SOUTHEAST REGION PREMIERE

Originating from filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo’s suspicion that there was something ugly lurking in her family’s past, Memories of a Penitent Heart charts her personal excavation of the buried family conflict around her uncle Miguel’s death, and her search for Miguel’s partner Robert a generation later. Dealing with the mistakes of the past and the second chances of the present, Memories of a Penitent Heart is a cautionary tale about the unresolved conflicts wrought by AIDS, and a nuanced exploration of how faith is used and abused in times of crisis.

Filmmaker in attendance

Saturday, October 8 • 6:30pm - 8:15pm

Strike a Pose

D: Ester Gould, Reijer Zwaan | Netherlands/Belgium | 83 min | SOUTHEAST REGION PREMIERE

In 1990, seven young male dancers joined Madonna on her most controversial world tour. Their journey was captured in Truth or Dare. As a self-proclaimed “mother” to her dancers, 6 gay and 1 straight, Madonna used the film to make a stand on gay rights and freedom of expression. The dancers became paragons of pride, inspiring people all over the world to dare to be who you are. Twenty-five years later, the dancers share their own stories about life during and after the tour. What does it take to express yourself?

Special Guest Jose Xtravaganza in attendance

Sponsored by Little Rock’s Club Sway

Tuesday, October 11 • 8:10pm - 9:45pm

Spandex Sapiens

D: Oskari Pastila | Finland | 87 min | Finnish, Japanese and English with English Subtitles | NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

Oskari Pastila’s wrestling doc Spandex Sapiens is an odd  cinematic portrait of an even odder man (it doesn’t get much weirder than a fantasy sequence supermarket-to-wrestling ring-to-Ikea parking lot showdown set to a cover of Alphaville’s Big in Japan). The film follows Michael “Starbuck” Majalahti, a Canadian-Finnish wrestler/hard rock singer/sometime actor who heads up Fight Club Finland. (And yes, he is big in Japan.) He’s also the son of a preacher – whose main adversary in the ring is Jessica Love, a standout transgender woman with the killer looks and attitude to match her formidable skills. Jessica also happens to be a young rising star, while the nearly 40-year-old Starbuck is in physical decline. -- LW

Filmmaker in attendance

Tuesday, October 11 • 9:55am - 11:45am (Field of Vision Short Film Block)

Peace in the Valley (short film)

D: Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri | USA | 15 min

Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is home to both the largest outdoor Passion Play in the United States and to an important vote on LGBT rights.

Friday, October 14 • 5:30pm - 7:10pm

The Joneses

D: Moby Longinotto | USA/UK | 80 min | SOUTHEAST REGION PREMIERE

Jheri Jones, is a 74-year-old transgender divorcee in Bible Belt Mississippi. Reconciled after years of estrangement, and now living with two of her four sons in their trailer park home, Jheri embarks on a new path to reveal her true self to her grandchildren, while her son Trevor begins a surprising journey of his own. Director Moby Longinotto’s incisive, fascinating portrait invites viewers to pull up a seat at the lively dinner table for an intimate, multi-generational look at the unforgettable Joneses, as they come together to deal with unresolved issues, shattered dreams, seething resentments and redefined realities.

Filmmaker and featured subject Jheri Jones in attendance