What's Queer at the 2018 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival?

 Studio 54

Studio 54

A special post for Queer Arts Arkansas, a new non-profit coming soon, here is a look at…

WHAT’S QUEER AT THE 2018 HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (HSDFF), the longest running documentary film festival in North America, returns October 19-27 at the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs and as usual the festival is screening some great documentaries featuring LGBTQ-centric subjects.

This years festival once again features over 100 feature and short films. Festival passes range from $50 for a student pass and up-to $400 for all-access passes. General admission individual tickets are $12. Visit www.hsdfi.org for more information.

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Click on the film titles for tickets and more info.

 

Saturday, October 20

TRANSFORMER - 5:00 PM

Directed by Michael Del Monte

HSDFF Transformer.jpg
 

Description

Matt Kroc was the ultimate alpha-male: a football player in high school and a former Marine who set a powerlifting world record. In 2015, she transitioned to become Janae Marie Kroczaleski, a trans woman who continues weightlift competitively. This intimate portrait reveals the psychology behind someone who has strived for male perfection despite feeling that she was a woman since childhood. Though her children fully accept her, she risks personal and professional rejection. Now the world’s strongest man faces a greater test of strength: being a woman.


Wednesday, October 24

Quiet Heroes - 10:00 AM

Directed by Jenny Mackenzie, Jared Ruga, Amanda Stoddard

Description

The Mormon Church’s political and social influence made receiving care for HIV/AIDS in 1980s Salt Lake City staggeringly difficult. Enter Kristin Ries and Maggie Snyder, two crusading healthcare professionals who served as the area’s only means of medical support. Engulfed in Utah’s particular brand of moral hysteria and anti-gay rhetoric, these two women, partnering with nuns, compassionately and heroically go about their work serving a much-closeted population ignored and unwanted by the conservative culture around them.

 

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRÉ - 12:00 PM

Directed by Kate Novack

Description

From the segregated American South to the fashion capitals of the world, the life and career of operatic fashion editor André Leon Talley are on full display in a poignant portrait that includes appearances by Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Valentino, and Manolo Blahnik. Full of André’s trademark humor and wisdom, Kate Novack’s moving documentary illustrates the graceful way that he handles the racist and homophobic assumptions about black men in the industry and reveals the women who have influenced his life.

 

Call Her Ganda - 2:30 PM

Directed by PJ Raval

Description

Ganda means “beauty” in the Tagalog language and was the nickname for Jennifer Laude, the 26-year-old Filipina trans woman killed by an off-duty 19-year-old U.S. Marine. Exposing the vulnerability of the trans community at the hands of unaccountable American soldiers abroad, the film reveals a deeper problem at the root: the U.S.’s imperialistic disregard for Philippine laws. At the heart of this beautifully rendered film are three women who seek justice and pay tribute to the memory of “Ganda.”

 

Studio 54 - 7:00 PM

Directed by Matt Tyrnauer

Description

A mythic, pulsating, melting-pot oasis for 33 months in New York City, the infamous Studio 54 nightclub was the brainchild of best friends from Brooklyn. From Michael Jackson to Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol to Diana Ross, the discothèque influenced music, fashion, culture, art, dance, and more. Yet, its own behind-the-scenes drama escalated by the minute, serving as its own high-stakes theater at the heartbeat of 1970s hedonism. Director Matt Tyrnauer chronicles the human story behind the velvet ropes; a cautionary tale of flying too close to the sun — or in this case, to the blinding disco ball.


Thursday, October 25

SUNUNÚ: THE REVOLUTION OF LOVE (Short Film) - 4:00 pm
PLAYS IN: People vs Personas (Shorts Block)

Directed by Olivia Crellin

Description

When trans dad Fernando Machado becomes pregnant with his trans girlfriend Diane Rodriguez in Ecuador, the couple challenges the public’s perception of gender roles.

 

Directed by Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri

HSDFF GOSPEL Of Eureka.jpg
 

Description

Two hundred miles away from Hot Springs is the other tourist mecca in Arkansas. The spa town of Eureka Springs is home of healing waters, a Christian Passion Play, gospel-themed drag shows, and an epic battle to pass a municipal law that would protect LGBTQ citizens and visitors from discrimination. Eureka Springs has one of the highest per-capita gay populations alongside a large evangelical Christian population.

As the vote for City Ordinance 2223 races towards its decision, the film poetically explores the surreal atmosphere of a town with such stark contrasts and conflicting opinions. The colorful cast of characters include a devoutly Christian gay couple who own a local bar which they refer to as “The Hillbilly Studio 54”; The Passion Play’s singing pastor and master of ceremonies who sounds like Elvis during his rendition of “Peace in the Valley”; and a passionate drag performer singing “You can’t pray the gay away.”

Archival footage conjures up ghosts from the past including infamous anti-gay activists Gerald L.K. Smith, who commissioned the largest Christ statue in North America that overlooks the town, and singer Anita Bryant, who tried to stage a comeback concert in Eureka Springs. With their hopeful film, Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri present a miraculous vision of a Southern Utopia where two divergent populations co-exist peacefully and where religious-themed attractions and diversity festivals compete for tourist dollars.

 

Conway Pride (Short Film) - 7:00 PM (Precedes gospel of eureka)

Directed by Stephen Stanley

HSDFF Conway-Pride-3-Steve-Stanley.jpg
 

Description

The small Arkansas town of Conway has had an annual LGBT Pride Parade since 2004. When the 2017 edition is threatened after the founders pass away, their adopted children band together to save a local institution and honor their gay dads.

 
 

Description

Hot Springs just got hotter! The Gospel of Eureka comes to life, live and in person, as historic Whittington Place welcomes some of the film’s most dynamic divas to their stage, direct from Eureka Springs! What better place for Felicia Blackhart, Ginger Styles, Missy Cline, and Charnay Cassidine to make their regional debut than this wonderfully cathedral-esque room, flanked by breathtaking stained glass windows and a church organ of truly Biblical proportions! DJ Courier Coleman mans the turntables.


Friday, October 26

AMÉRICA - 9:30 AM

Directed by Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside

Description

Mexican brothers Rodriguez, Bruno, and Diego are unexpectedly tasked with caring for their 93-year-old grandmother América after their father is wrongly jailed for neglect. Easygoing and humorous, the brothers, who work as street entertainers on the side, carefully tend to their grandmother despite growing familial tensions and disagreements. Encountering the harsh realities and meditative tenderness of homecare, an intergenerational bond is formed as the brothers come face-to-face with the rewarding complexities of family.

 

SUNUNÚ: THE REVOLUTION OF LOVE (Short Film) - 2:00 pm
PLAYS IN: People vs Personas (Shorts Block)

Directed by Olivia Crellin

Description

When trans dad Fernando Machado becomes pregnant with his trans girlfriend Diane Rodriguez in Ecuador, the couple challenges the public’s perception of gender roles.