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A scene from an upcoming film by Noel Alejandro (image supplied) A scene from an upcoming film by Noel Alejandro (image supplied)

Arts & Culture

Down a dark path with Noel Alejandro

A scene from an upcoming film by Noel Alejandro (image supplied)

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If you’re looking for grown-up gay erotica, it doesn’t get any better than the stylishly sexy work of filmmaker Noel Alejandro.

I caught up with him to talk about his current projects.

You’ve begun teasing us with images from your next release, what we can look forward to?

Right now, I’m working on two short films. One of them is a story in poetic key that I’ve already filmed and I’ll release at the end of October. The other one, which I’ve only just shot, will be released first — it’s a more linear and dry story.

I don’t have official titles for either of the two, although I am shuffling some ideas.

It looks like you’ve been filming in a forest or some sort of abandoned house?

It’s summer and we wanted to film something out of the classic house where everything happens under a roof. You also have to take advantage of this time of year in Berlin — in two months it will be very difficult to record exteriors due to the weather and the few hours of sunshine.

Who have you cast in these films?

In both shorts I repeat again with Valentin Braun and Yann André, both appear in Trivial. The rest of the actors are new faces in the world of adult cinema. I usually work with a lot of beginners — somehow they get in touch with me because they’re interested in participating in a more artistic project.

In one image you’ve released, you’re showing four guys together. Is this the first four-gy that you’ve filmed?

One of the stories is an orgy of four people, that we’ve shot in different locations. It’s a story that at the plot, narrative, and artistic level has been a huge challenge.

One of the films is tackling issues around drugs and addiction? Do you think your audience will be surprised with the way that you’re tackling this subject?

I think movies should raise problems, questions. Talk about taboos and never limit yourself to anything. A film, for me, is a journey within the psychology and malice of the director. The director has created a work based on a concept that they been growing, modifying, and producing during all the production processes of filming and editing.

What do you hope that audiences will feel when watching this film?

I’d like them to feel worried about how vulnerable we can be.

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Arts & Culture

Giving a voice to gay Arab men

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Samer Bo (image supplied)
Samer Bo (image supplied)

I caught up with author Samer Bo to talk about writing erotic gay fiction in Egypt.

What led you to start writing erotic gay fiction?

I was forgetting what was happening. I noticed that when someone asked me about what happened to me the previous week, I couldn’t remember the details.

I think forgetting was my defence-mechanism for all the pain and trouble.

So, I started by writing my diaries, which ended to be quite erotic sometimes. Then that moved to erotic fiction.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your stories?

Inspiration comes from my personal experiences and sometimes my friends’ experiences. Other times, I just meet a guy or watch a movie, and it inspires me to write a story.

Who are your target audience?

I write for myself before anyone else. I’d love all gay men to read and get aroused by my stories.

But I guess I do write for minorities — people who don’t usually get represented in media, porn, or erotic stories. I want people to see themselves represented in my novels.

What sort of feedback do you get from your readers?

I get a lot of positive feedback from people in the Middle East who finally find a voice speaking to them. Some see me as a role model — a type of Egyptian guy that they never see in the media.

Do your friends and family know that you write erotic gay fiction?

Only some close friends know. I’m not in touch with my family anyway. Samer is my real name, but I changed my last name to Bo.

Have you had any negative reactions to the gay erotic fiction that you write?

I only tell people about my writing if I know that they’re either gay or gay friendly. So I haven’t had negative reactions in that respect.

However, I have had multiple incidents of homophobia. I was arrested once.

Son of the President isn’t an erotic story, how did that story come to you?

That story is based on the real-life story of an older friend that I met a few years ago. I told him about my erotic stories, and he asked me to write an erotic story inspired by his experiences.

However, I felt that if I wrote it as erotica, it would take away from the essence of the story. So I left it as non-erotic story.

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What do you hope that people feel when reading your stories?

First of all, aroused from my erotic stories. Plus, I want people to feel represented.

Gay Arabs are not represented in any kind of media. We’re being suppressed and discriminated against. A lot of gay men in the Middle East feel that being gay is wrong, and that homosexuality is a sin.

This is my small way to help those men feel better about themselves.

What are some of your goals and ambitions for the remainder of 2018?

More stories, maybe some non-erotic ones. I’m also helping a friend of mine to change his non-erotic short story into a play.

Read the novels by Samer Bo

Follow Samer Bo on Twitter

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