Dancing for freedom in the Middle East
In Lebanon, a country where the queer community still faces extreme discrimination, a scene is emerging that celebrates its passion, identity, flamboyance and passion. It’s voguing, a dance style created in New York City in the 80s to create a safe space for LGBTQ people. Now, dancers like Hoedy Saad are continuing the tradition in the Middle East. In the face of adversity, he continues to dance, building a vogue scene in Lebanon to fight for freedom.
I met Hoedy on a research trip to Lebanon and knew right then and there that I wanted to tell his story. I headed back to Beirut with my favourite DP and editor Nougie to make the film.
I released the Vogue Beirut independently to help Hoedy promote his first-ever ball. Gay Times wrote a story about Hoedy and I licenced the film to CNN’s Great Big Story as part of their Pride programming. The film was also selected for the 2018 Fringe! Queer Film Festival.