By Thom Senzee
Originally published on Advocate.com August 14 2014 2:30 PM ET
With three days to go, the final countdown has begun for those who want to be a part of a Kickstarter campaign to fund completion of a new documentary film that tells the story of LGBT Iranians who have fled their homeland and the threat of unspeakable violence in search of asylum in more tolerant nations.
Filmmaker Rick Flynn bills Golf Alpha Yankee, which spells "gay" in military call letters, as the first film of its kind to document human rights atrocities committed against LGBT Iranians by a regime whose former president once claimed Iran didn't have any gay people.
Two years in the making, the film features interviews with LGBT Iranian refugees living in Turkey, awaiting decisions from United Nations officials about if, when, and where their applications for asylum might be accepted.
Although life in Turkey is far safer for LGBT people than it is in Iran and many other Arab countries, Turkey is still a challenging place for them, as the film shows.
The faces of those people interviewed in Flynn's film are anonymized in visually creative ways, while their harrowing experiences are dramatized by actor portrayals.
Mistreatment of LGBT people is common in countries such as Iran, where homosexuality is a crime that can be punished with the death penalty. Just last week two Iranian men were hanged for what was reported to be consensual gay sex.
While the subjects of sex and sexuality in general are often considered taboo in Iranian media and culture, Golf Alpha Yankee tackles the issues head-on.
Golf Alpha Yankee's Kickstarter campaign has already reached its pledge goal of $30,000, meaning the team behind the film will have access to the funds raised. But director Flynn has added a "wish list goal," hoping to raise a total of $40,000, which will help with not only the considerable costs of post-production, distribution, and marketing, but also follow-up interviews with the protagonists, and possible narration from an as-yet-unnamed celebrity.
Rewards for supporting the film's Kickstarter campaign range from baked goods and boxers to VIP premiere parties and a gay tour of Berlin. Those interested can support the film here.
In the meantime, watch this clip from Golf Alpha Yankee to get a glimpse into the lives of Iranian LGBT refugees: