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.

Produced by:

 Ekin Çalışır

Festivals & Awards:

Audience Award, Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival, 2018

Middle East Now Film Festival, 2018

 Movies that Matter Festival, 2018

 Best Documentary Award, Roze Filmdagen - Amsterdam's LGBTQ Film Festival 2018

 Doc Fortnight 2018, MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art 

 Human Rights Award, Sarajevo Film Festival, 2017

 Special Mention, 32° Lovers Film Festival Torino LGBTQI Visions, Italy

 OCAÑA Award, Sevilla Festival de Cine Europeo, 2017

 Silver Hugo Award, Documentary competition, Chicago International Film Festival, 2017

 International Competition, Antenna International Documentary Film Festival, 2017

 Panorama Program, IDFA 2017

 Best European Documentary, Tirana International Film Festival, 2017 

 Grand Prix, Cheries Cheris LGBTQ Films Festival, 2017

 Siyad award, National Competition in Turkey, 2017

  World Premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest, 2017


 30,000$ Work in Progress Award, Antalya Film Forum, 2016

 2016 Medimed Documentary Forum

 The NRW Film Fund (Film- und Medienstiftung NRW) - Production Grant

 Production & Post Production Grant - Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, with support from Open Society Foundations & Ford Foundation | JustFilms

 Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) - 2017 Artist in Residence Program

 Tribeca Film Institute

Mr. Gay Syria - Official Trailer