3rd Annual Kaleidoscope Award Winners


The Film Society of Little Rock recently wrapped its 3rd Annual Kaleidoscope LGBT Film Festival with top awards going to: Saturday Church, The Wound, Small Talk, God’s Own Country, and The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson. Special Awards were created for honored guests Cheryl Dunye, the groundbreaking queer New Wave writer-director, and Armistead Maupin, author of the legendary “Tales of the City.”

Director Cheryl Dunye attended the festival for a 20th Anniversary screening of “The Watermelon Woman” and was honored with the festival’s inaugural “Cheryl Dunye Trailblazer Award.”  Cited as the first film by and about a black lesbian, Cheryl Dunye’s landmark indie was ahead of its time in both subject and style. The Watermelon Woman is both faux-documentary and true-life fiction, all drawn from Dunye’s personal experiences exploring both the history of black women in cinema and the always comic gay dating scene.  Two decades later, the film remains as vital as ever, a treasure of the New Queer Cinema of the 90s.

Author Armistead Maupin was recognized with the inaugural “Kaleidoscope Armistead Maupin Career Achievement in Literature Award.” At a dinner in his honor at South on Main, the Oxford American Magazines’ Sara A. Lewis moderated an hour-long conversation with the author. The author of nine novels, Maupin is most well-known for the groundbreaking six volume “Tales of the City” series—the first three books of which have been turned into a mini-series starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney. Netflix is currently in development for the next installment of tales. The festival also screened the new documentary “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin”.

Celebrity Chef Pink and her wife Courtney Rae headlined a culinary arts event at South on Main. Chef Pink and Courtney Rae, based in California, were featured in the Logo TV Documentary “Hungry”, highlighting the struggles encountered by female chefs and restaurateurs in a male dominated industry.

The Kaleidoscope festival took place over a nine-day period in North Little Rock’s Argenta Arts District and at South on Main in Little Rock. This year’s audience continued to grow as the festival expanded its lineup to include more arts and cultural offerings with an art exhibit, literature, and culinary events. Other special guests included Director Stephen Cone, Chef Pink, actor Luka Kain, and more.

The musical “Hello Again” opened the festival, which featured 10 films in all. “Princess Cyd” was the closing night film. Top awards went to: “Saturday Church” (Best US Narrative Feature), “The Wound” (Best International Narrative Feature), “Small Talk” (Best Documentary Feature), “God’s Own Country” (Audience Award Narrative Feature), and “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” (Audience Award, Documentary Feature). The festival also featured the North American Premiere of the 2017 Cannes Queer Palm Short Film Award winner “Islands” (Les îles), Directed by Yann Gonzalez.

Other features taking home awards were “The Ornithologist” (Outstanding Artistic Achievement), “Princess Cyd” (Best Director, Stephen Cone), “God’s Own Country” (Emerging Director, Francis Lee), and actor Luka Kain (Emerging Talent, “Saturday Church”). See below for a complete list of winners.

The 4th annual Kaleidoscope will return August 10-18, 2018.

Special Honorary Awards

CHERYL DUNYE, Kaleidoscope Trailblazer Award

ARMISTEAD MAUPIN, Kaleidoscope Career Achievement in Literature Award


Jury Awards

Best Feature Film (US Narrative): SATURDAY CHURCH

Best Feature Film (International Narrative): THE WOUND

Best Documentary Feature: SMALL TALK

Best Short Film (Narrative): DAWN OF THE DEAF

Best Short Film (Documentary): BAYARD & ME

Best Director: Stephen Cone, PRINCESS CYD


Special Jury Awards

Outstanding Artistic Achievement: THE ORNITHOLOGIST

Emerging Director Award: Francis Lee, GOD'S OWN COUNTRY

Emerging Talent Award: Luka Kain, SATURDAY CHURCH


Audience Awards

Audience Award (Feature Narrative): GOD'S OWN COUNTRY

Audience Award (Documentary): THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON

Audience Award (Short): MERCÉ