The JBFC awarded GH's 2015/16 graduates Ayse Toprak & Ekin Çalışır from Turkey, with their project 'Mr. Gay Syria'; and Sara Nacer & Laura Bustillos from Algeria, with their project 'La Rockeuse du Desert', with the 2017 GH Artist in Residency program. The filmmakers were invited for 2-3 weeks of extensive editing at The JBFC facilities in NY, where they continued working on their projects and received constructive feedback from NY-based documentary experts.
Mr. Gay Syria
Ayse Toprak & Ekin Çalışır / Turkey, 2017
Set in Istanbul and Berlin, Mr. Gay Syria follows two Syrian gay refugees who are trying to rebuild their lives after having been forced to leave their country. Husein is a 24-year-old barber in Istanbul. He is married with a kid and lives a double life - one as a father in the outskirts of Istanbul, the other as a gay man in the city center. Mahmoud is the founder of Syria’s LGBTI movement. He lives in Berlin as a refugee and works part time at an NGO, helping recent arrivals with their paperwork. What brings them together is a crazy dream: To join the international beauty contest, Mr. Gay World. For Husein, this is a way to first come to terms with his identity, then make his family understand. For Mahmoud, this is THE place to launch a campaign for visibility for Syrian gay refugees.
La Rockeuse du Desert
Laura Bustillos & Sara Nacer / Algeria, 2015-16
In a breathtaking Sahara desert landscape lies the mining town of Bechar in western Algeria, here, an illiterate, and singularly talented, sexagenarian, Hasna El Becharia, leads and rocks with Algerian women of all ages to redefine their role and to challenge cultural norms one musical performance at a time.
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