Mr. Gay Syria

  • Ayse Toprak
  • France, Turkey, Germany
  • 2017
  • 88 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Panorama

Twenty-four-year-old Husein is from Syria. As a refugee, he waits in Istanbul for possible placement somewhere in Europe. Married with a young daughter, he also carries a big secret: his homosexuality. He must hide his sexual orientation from his conservative family, but he can be himself with his friends in Istanbul’s tight-knit gay community. To bring attention to homosexuality among Syrians, he decides to compete in the Mr. Gay Syria pageant. His emotional performance of a letter to his mother wins him the title. He is then invited to compete for Mr. Gay World in Malta—as long as he can secure a visa. These young gay men in Istanbul live under constant tension: between hoping for a future with a permit to live in a safe European country, and wrestling with the values of their traditional backgrounds. Regardless, this intimate portrait is filled with love and life.


  • 88 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic, English, Turkish, German
  • Subtitles in: English
Ayse Toprak
Antoine Simkine for Les Filmes d'Antoine, Ekin Calisir for Toprak Film, Christine Kiauk for COIN FILM GmbH
Hajo Schomerus, Anne Misselwitz
Nadia Ben Rachid
Vincent Rozenberg

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere

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IDFA history

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