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The return of Kaleidoscope 

The LGBT Film Festival kicks off in North Little Rock.

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The Kaleidoscope LGBT Film Festival, inaugurated in July 2015, is back for its second annual event starting Thursday, Aug. 18, at various locations in the Argenta neighborhood of North Little Rock.

Tony Taylor, executive director of the Film Society of Little Rock, took inspiration for the festival from Los Angeles' popular Outfest Film Festival. Taylor's goal was to celebrate a genre of film not regularly distributed in Arkansas. "It's so important for an event like this to happen in the South," Taylor said. "Little Rock, and all of Central Arkansas, really has a thriving LGBT community, so it's the perfect place for an event like this."

Taylor founded the Little Rock Film Society with several friends in 2015 to serve as an umbrella organization for various film events in Central Arkansas. In addition to the Kaleidoscope festival, the Society also organizes Fantastic Cinema, a festival that highlights fantasy, science fiction and horror films, as well as a monthly screening of short films at The Joint in North Little Rock.

Over 20 films make up the four-day lineup, including narratives, documentaries and shorts. This year, the festival has put a special focus on Latin American LGBT cinema. Among the highlights:

"I Promise You Anarchy" offers a frantic portrait of three Mexican youths caught in a love triangle who find themselves in trouble with a drug cartel.

"The Nest" is a Brazilian film that follows a group of bohemian youths as they adopt a young soldier into their collected family. Over four 25-minute vignettes, the soldier comes into contact with a side of life both foreign and familiar in seaside Brazil.

"You'll Never Be Alone" is about a father whose gay son has been the victim of a hate crime. His quest for justice in a modern-day Chile is lonely as he fights against those who view him and his son as just another meaningless statistic.

Read on to find a complete schedule; our picks for films to see at the festival; and interviews with Liz Ramirez, Anna Vasquez and Cassandra (Cassie) Rivera, who were wrongly accused of sexual assault and are the subjects of "Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four," and with Annalise Ophelian, the director of the documentary "Major!"

Individual film screening passes are $10. The Film Fanatic pass, which provides access to all film screenings, is $70, and the $200 VIP pass includes access to all events (there are parties every night) and screenings. Individual tickets to receptions and parties are also available. All tickets and passes may be purchased at the festival's official website, kaleidoscopefilmfestival.com.

The stories of the Kaleidoscope film festival are part of the Arkansas Times' LGBTQ coverage that we hope to expand into a daily stand-alone statewide web publication. To launch the site and hire a fulltime editor, we need your help. Donate now at arktimes.com/outinark. It's tax deductible. In the meantime, look for regular LGBTQ-related content in the Times bearing the Out in Arkansas logo.


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