Gate of Sun- Film Production Used as a Tool in Social Cohesion

Gate Of Sun is a film production house and open space for cultural exchange in Gaziantep, Turkey. Syrian Filmmaker Amr and Scenographer Rawan, founded Gate of Sun four years ago with the aim of enhancing the social cohesion process amongst hosts and guest communities. They wanted to create a new concept after coming to Gaziantep since they found there to be more openness in the cultural scene than in Damascus, where it can be challenging to express yourself.

The organization holds workshops teaching Syrians & Turks film production methods. Due to the challenges of language barrier, they have developed a mutual language for participants through music, photography, and contemporary arts to build bridges. Thus far, Gate of Sun has produced 4-5 productions including short movies and experimental films. They recently started a collaboration with the Arabic Theater in Sweden and established the Bag Theatre, which is a platform for immigrant theatre professionals to produce and perform theater plays in Arabic.

Gate of Sun enhances cultural exchanges through community initiatives that include Turkish & Syrian dinners for Ramadan, Hakawti (storytelling in Arabic), and cinema nights. Further, they hold projects targeting youth & women from various age ranges. One of their ongoing projects teaches women how to express their ideas through film by teaching them how to use cameras, enhancing their abilities in the field. However, since COVID-19, community initiatives and projects have become virtual.


Rawan shared that starting Gate of Sun was very challenging due to the lack of cultural organizations in Gaziantep. This is due to the difficulty in finding financial resources to start these organizations. But cultural organizations are necessary since resettled Syrian communities can easily lose their oral history. Without these initiatives, everything would be lost. Rawan pointed out that art & culture in Europe is used for entertainment & intellect, but in the Middle East, it is used as an important tool for social cohesion and reducing hate speech & violence. For Gate of Sun, film production and workshops serve as a way to not only build bridges between Syrians & Turks in Gaziantep, but also amongst Syrians since they come from various backgrounds. Gate of Sun views Gaziantep as a culturally diverse place that is full of potential for cultural activities & institutions.