M.Caner Alper & Mehmet Binay

Turkish film-makers Mehmet Binay and M. Caner Alper began their career in documentary film-making, with a series of documentaries on minorities, identity and gender. Their first film, Whispering Memories and Talking Pictures (2008) depicts the story of hidden Armenians who escaped the Armenian genocide by pursuing a life as crypto-Muslims.

Mehmet and Caner’s first feature film, Zenne Dancer (2012), was inspired by the true story of Ahmet Yildiz who was murdered by his own father for coming out gay. Zenne Dancer was chosen one of the best LGBTQ films of the year and rewarded with 25 international prizes on the festival circuit. The controversial film’s release in conservative Turkey was breaking news on CNN International. The directors were chosen “Best Director of 2012” by GQ Magazine for initiating social change as openly gay film-makers in Turkey. Their second feature film, Drawers, also deals with gender and tells the coming-of-age story of a Turkish girl; it was chosen “Best Film” at the Nuremberg International Film Festival and received 24 international awards.

Mehmet and Caner currently live in Los Angeles, and work on the development of Agunah, a post-WWII love story set in southern Sweden and Istanbul.

Zenne Dancer and Drawers can be watched on Netflix.