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‘Joyland’ Selected At Cannes Is About Sexual Revolution In Patriarchal Family

Saim Sadiq's Joyland, Pakistani Film Joyland
Directed by Pakistani filmmaker, Saim Sadiq, pursuing an MFA at Columbia University, School of Arts, Joyland is a part of Cannes’ Official Selection. The Cannes’ Official Selection is the main event of the International Film festival. 

Debutant director, Saim Sadiq’s film, Joyland is about the sexual revolution in a patriarchal joint family, which longs for the birth of a baby boy to continue the family line of descent. The youngest son in the family secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and falls in love with a transsexual “starlet.”

Saim Sadiq’s Joyland

Featured by BBC’s Free Speech Stories, Saim’s various national networks on television had showcased his earlier documentary before they went viral on social media in Pakistan. Saim’s first short film Pasban was screened at numerous global festivals.

In addition, he bagged a Vimeo’s Best Director along with five other awards at the 2018 Columbia University thesis film showcase for his latest Nice Talking to You. He was also awarded the Kodak Student Scholarship Gold Award 2018. 


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Sharing his news of the film making it to the Festival De Cannes, Saim wrote on an Instagram post, “I am so excited to share the first image of  the film and deeply humbled that the film is going to have its world premiere at the 75th Cannes Film Festival. Virtual hugs for my cast and crew who deserve this moment and so much more.”

Featuring Ali Junejo, Sarwat Gilani, Rasti Farooq, Sania Saeed and Salman Peerzada, the plot of the film centers around gender, sexuality and societal notions, unravelling a complex love story. At the Cannes Festival, Saim’s film has been nominated under the category of ‘Uncertain Regard.’ 

Earlier, according to a report by the Variety, a U.K- and France-based sales firm known as Film Constellation, dealt with the international rights for “Joyland.” As the first Pakistan-made film in Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival, its sales duties will be shared with 2009-founded and owner of US-run beauty pageant Miss Universe, WME Independent. As a holding company, WME was representing North American rights.