Skip to main content
Joyland film image, director Saim Sadiq


This event has passed

Unemployed and living in the emasculated shadow of his father and older brother, Haider, a shy, softspoken man, eagerly accepts a job at a theatre as a backup dancer for Biba, a trans woman trying to make her way as an erotic dancer. Hiding the truth of his work from his family—who have secrets of their own—Haider gradually falls into an intimate affair with Biba. Meanwhile, his wife, Mumtaz, a skilled beautician who takes pride in her work and role as breadwinner, feels stifled and unfulfilled with Haider and his father’s expectations that she will bear him a son.

This poignant, sharply droll debut from director Saim Sadiq was the first Pakistani film at Cannes, where it won the Queer Palme Award. Joyland weaves a rich tapestry of complex characters, finding moments of intimacy and grace as it explores a patriarchal family bursting at the seams with sexual repression and buckling under cultural pressures and expectations of gender and tradition.

Tartly funny and plungingly sad in equal measure, this is nuanced, humane queer filmmaking.”—Guy Lodge, Variety

Jury Prize, Cannes 2022 (Un Certain Regard)


Community Partner


Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Sohail Sameer, Salman Peerzada, Sania Saeed

Country of Origin





In Urdu and Punjabi with English subtitles

Film Contact
127 min
Award Winners Drama LGBTQIA2S+

Book Tickets

This event has passed.

Missing VIFF? Check out what’s playing at the VIFF Centre

Someone Lives Here
Someone Lives Here film image

Someone Lives Here

Throughout the COVID pandemic, Toronto has seen a catastrophic increase in homelessness. Sick of seeing his city unable to care for its unhoused people, Khaleel Seivwright quit his job as a full-time carpenter and dedicated himself to building insulated shelters--called 'tiny shelters.'

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
Oscar® Shorts 2024: Animation
Letter to a Pig film image; animated giant pig looming over little girl

Oscar® Shorts 2024: Animation

The best animated shorts of the year, according to the Academy... films from Iran, Israel, France and the USA. This program will also feature a handful of "best runners-up".

VIFF Centre - Studio Theatre VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

Big Fight in Little Chinatown

Set against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic and an unprecedented rise in anti-Asian racism, the documentary takes us into the lives of residents, businesses, and community organizers whose neighborhoods are facing active erasure.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
Oscar® Shorts 2024: Live Action
The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar film image; man mediates in jungle

Oscar® Shorts 2024: Live Action

This year's nominees for Best Live Action Short Films include a mini-masterpiece from Wes Anderson and French Canadian entry, Invincible.

VIFF Centre - Studio Theatre VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

The Invisible Fight

Fans of Black Sabbath, kung fu, and/or wacky comedy won't want to miss The Invisible Fight. This gonzo Estonian martial arts movie is an unholy cross between Aki Kaurismaki and Edgar Wright; a true one-off.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre VIFF Centre - Studio Theatre

Manufacturing the Threat

Shining a light into the murky world of police infiltration, incitement, and agent provocateurs, Manufacturing The Threat shows how Canada’s policing and national security agencies, granted additional powers after 9/11, routinely break laws with little to no accountability or oversight.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre


Executive Producer

Riz Ahmed, Ramin Bahrani, William Olsson, Jen Goyne Blake, Tiffany Boyle, Elsa Ramo, Oleg Dubson, Kathrin Lohmann, Hari Charana Prasad, Sukanya Puvvula, Owais Ahmed


Apoorva Charan, Sarmad Khoosat, Lauren Mann, Kathryn M. Moseley, Oliver Ridge, April Shih, Katharina Otto-Bernstein


Saim Sadiq


Joe Saade


Jasmin Tenucci, Saim Sadiq

Production Design

Kanwal Khoosat

Original Music

Abdullah Siddiqui


Saim Sadiq headshot, Joyland director

Saim Sadiq

Saim Sadiq’s film Joyland (2022) is the first Pakistani feature to be screened at Cannes. His film Darling (2019), which won the Orizzonti Prize for Best Short Film at the Venice Film Festival, was also an official selection at TIFF and won a Special Jury Mention award at SXSW. His previous short film Nice Talking to You (2018) was also an official selection at SXSW, as well as other festivals. He is currently writing the film adaptation of the novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.