In 2016 MEDIMED presented awards to two projects from the 2015/16 GH Program 'Mr. Gay Syria' by Ayse Toprak & Ekin Çalışır from Turkey, and 'In Her Footsteps' by Rana Abu Fraiha from Israel, giving them the chance to pitch their documentary projects at the Medimed 2016 Pitching Forum, and to participate in one-on-one meetings with decision makers and key industry professionals attending the forum.
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.
In her Footsteps
Rana Abu Fraiha / Israel, 2017
In the dead of night, my parents left the house my father had built in the Bedouin village, Tal-a-Sabeh, and moved, perhaps "fled," to Omer, a Jewish town, very bourgeois, located only 5 km away. For 10 years of dealing with breast cancer, my mother's only wish was to be buried in Omer. The town never dealt with this issue, of where to bury its Muslim residents.
The film documents an entire family torn between fulfilling the mother's last wish and social codes that cannot be ignored. During the process of separation from the mother, the film reveals the family intimacy, secrets and dilemmas, raises serious questions about women's identity, nationality and the meaning of home.
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