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, Shorts on Tap's 2019 Tales of the Silk Road Festival, and Shanghai's CINEMQ.