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Joyland film image, director Saim Sadiq

Joyland

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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

Director
Cast

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

Credits
Country of Origin

Pakistan

Year

2022

Language

In Urdu and Punjabi with English subtitles

Film Contact
Links
18+
127 min
Award Winners Drama LGBTQIA2S+

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Credits

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

Producer

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

Screenwriter

Saim Sadiq

Cinematography

Joe Saade

Editor

Jasmin Tenucci, Saim Sadiq

Production Design

Kanwal Khoosat

Original Music

Abdullah Siddiqui

Director

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.