New York is a vibrant city that many people come to in an effort to realize their dreams. But it is a harsh reality that many people fall short of this aspiration and end up homeless. Homme Less examines this from a unique perspective. Subject Mark Reay shot for many fashion publications and was also an occasional model – all while living as a homeless person on a roof.

Reay was homeless for a five-year period, during which he also shot for magazines like Dazed and Confused and backstage at fashion shows like Alexander Wang. The documentary follows Reay as he lives his life doing opposing things, like getting ready for shoots in public bathrooms. The idea that Reay was able to be so successful in his public life while facing such an intense struggle in his private one is incredible, and the documentary traces the idea of what “homeless” means.

The documentary and Reay’s double life present a troubling contrast in the context of public appearances and reality. Reay dressed in suits and expensive shoes, successfully pulling off a façade of someone who has their life together. But in reality, he used public restrooms and facilities. Instead of going to a warm house after a long day of shooting, he went to a roof in the East Village. The film emphasizes the idea that despite what people may look like or what position they hold, they could be struggling. It also touches on the pressure and responsibility members of society face to present a winning front to the world.

Homme Less is set to be released on August 7.

Eröffnungsfilm FFKB 2014