Mr. Gay Syria follows two gay Syrian refugees who are trying to rebuild their lives. Husein is a barber in Istanbul living a double life between his conservative family and his gay identity. Mahmoud is the founder of Syria’s LGBTI movement and is a refugee in Berlin. What brings them together is a dream: to participate in an international beauty contest as an escape from their trapped lives and an answer to their invisibility. Will the dream come true or will the refugee crisis and the harsh consequences of being gay in the Muslim world shatter it to pieces?
- Human Rights Award - Sarajevo FF
- 4th Ocaña Award to Freedom - Seville EFF
- Mahmoud Hassino
- Ayman Menem
- Bradley Secker
- The Tea and Talk Group
- Hajo Schomerus
- Anne Misselwitz
- Nadia Ben Rachid
- Zeid Hamdan
- LES FILMS D'ANTOINE
- COIN FILM GMBH
- TOPRAK FILM
- TASKOVSKI FILMS LTD.
A moving case for visibility in the face of hatred and violence.
Ayse Toprak is a filmmaker based in Istanbul. She received a BFA in Film & TV from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and an MA from the New School. Her work experience includes Channel Thirteen/PBS in New York, and producing for Al Jazeera in London, Doha and Istanbul.
Ayse is interested in how documentaries, their subjects and colourful characters have far-reaching impacts on society. With that, films that manage to trigger a national dialogue on neglected issues, brake prejudices or breach hitherto taboo subjects became her favourite medium, as well as personal and professional ambition. She is fascinated by people who are pushed to the peripheries of society who have personal, vivid, compelling stories. Her conviction in filmmaking comes from her wish to tell the stories of such people who she feels have different ways of looking at the world, each very unique in their own ways.