Mehmet Binay and Caner Alper, the Turkish directing duo behind the controversial “Zenne Dancer,” which sparked heated debates over gay rights and homophobia in Turkey, are developing “Love Blindfolded” and “The Convert.”
Binay and Alper, whose films are driven by civil liberties and gender issues, are in Cannes with their latest film, “Drawers,” pictured above, which is having its premiere at the market. “Drawers,” a drama about a teenage girl’s sexuality, won best film and actress awards at the Nuremberg fest and has been a local hit.
Exploring cultural love and identity, “Love Blindfolded” turns on an American woman who falls in love with a Turkish man and gets married in Turkey. The film opens 22 years later, when the couple is on the verge of divorcing. Still considered a foreigner even after living two decades in Turkey, the woman faces hostility in court and resistance from her children who are not willing to move back to the U.S. with her.
The movie will be set up as an American-Turkish co-production.
“The Convert,” which also explores some of the same issues as “Blindfolded,” centers around a 45-year old striptease club owner from Europe capital who has lost touch with his family. When the man dies, his family is shocked to find out that he had converted to Catholicism.
“We stand somewhere between arthouse and mainstream. We think our stories are very sharp and difficult to digest. This is why cinematography is very important for us; vibrant costumes, heavy make-up, dramatic acting, talking characters; something that is unusual in the panorama of today’s Turkish cinema,” said the helmers.
Their debut, “Zenne Dancer,” won five Golden Orange prizes at the Antalya Film Festival.