BAFTA Nominated – Breakthrough Talent (Marcus Plowright), 2016 Craft Awards
Shortlisted – Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme (Domestic), Grierson Awards 2016
Shortlisted – Best Newcomer Documentary (for Marcus Plowright), Grierson Awards 2016
“Documentary of the week and one that deserves awards”. The Observer
“It could have been bleak, but this accomplished debut from first-time director Marcus Plowright, narrated by Ian McKellen, was everything a good documentary should be: powerful, often moving and expertly injecting the subject matter with a hefty dose of humour…Too many documentaries are of the point and sneer variety – this commendable film did the opposite, and it sparkled.” The Daily Telegraph (five stars out of five).
“This affecting, insightful documentary was no lazy, blanket condemnation of Islamic conservatism in Britain…important, revealing and unfamiliar story about the modern world, warts, glitter and all.” The Times
“Everyone who participated should be credited with bravery.” The Guardian
This ground-breaking documentary, directed by Marcus Plowright and narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, allows unprecedented insight into the clandestine gay Asian or ‘Gaysian’ community in the UK which provides a haven for young men who are unable to publicly reconcile their sexuality with their cultural identity and traditions. Homosexuality is widely deemed to be forbidden within Islam and the exhibitionist nature of drag remains one of the ultimate taboos for many British Asians – forcing the entire scene underground. This sensitively-made film focusses on the stories of three of the 100-150 Muslim Drag Queens who face the seemingly insurmountable challenge of gaining acceptance and tolerance within their own wider communities.
Commissioning Editor David Brindley says: “This is an incredibly important, surprising and moving film. Those who have chosen to tell their stories have done so with immense bravery and speak so eloquently about the struggles they have faced. With piercing honesty, Muslim Drag Queens gets right to the heart of a community that has up until now remained hidden from the wider British public.”
1×1 Hour for Channel 4
Distributed by All3Media International