Pakistani film Joyland about the sexual revolution at the Cannes Film Festival this year

The Pakistani feature film Joyland is part of the official Cannes selection this year. It will star in the second largest category, A Certain Regard, known for including experimental cinema and works by newcomers.

Joyland – from rookie director Saim Sadiq, who in 2019 won the Lion for best short film at the Orizzonti (New Horizons) in Venice for his darling – is a story of sexual revolution. A happy joint family yearns for the birth of a baby boy to keep the bloodline alive in what is a traditional patriarchal community. As life often throws surprises, the youngest son of the family secretly joins an erotic dance theater troupe and falls in love with a transsexual starlet with ruthless ambition.

Joyland stars Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Sohail Sameer, Salman Peerzada and Sania Saeed. The DOP is Joe Saade (“Costa Brava Lebanon”, “Broken Keys”).

“My incredible casting gave the characters in Joyland a kind of empathy and humanity that a filmmaker can only hope for and I’m thrilled to experience their magic,” Sadiq said in an Instagram post. “So excited to share Joyland’s first image and deeply touched that Joyland is having its world premiere at the 75th Cannes Film Festival. Virtual hugs for my cast and crew who deserve this moment and so much more.

Sadiq told Images last week that he hopes Joyland will generate positivity and a good debate at home in Pakistan and around the world because many very passionate people have put a lot of heart and soul into this film. He also said that he and the crew plan to take the film to Pakistan later this year.

“Saim has woven a tender and sensual family tale of modern times, grappling with the weight of fabricated gender roles. It radiates a shared desire to live and love without compromise,” said Fabien Westerhoff, CEO of Film Constellation, a Franco-British company that will manage the film’s international sales.

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