From Pakistan - Official Trailer for 'Joyland' Directed by Saim Sadiq
by Alex Billington
January 27, 2023
"Have you ever dance in a theatre before?" One of the best festival discoveries from 2022 is this Pakistani film titled Joyland, marking the feature debut of filmmaker Saim Sadiq. It was submitted by Pakistan for the 95th Academy Awards, but unfortunately it didn't make the cut as one of the five nominated. Joyland first premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, and it also just played at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival this month in their Spotlight section. "Take a first glimpse into the daring, soul searching film that delves deep into the challenging complexities of desire and gender identity through the lens of the Rana Family." The youngest son from a traditional Pakistani family takes a job as a backup dancer in a Bollywood-style burlesque theater, and he quickly becomes infatuated with the strong-willed trans woman, BIba, who runs the show. It stars Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Salmaan Peerzada, Sameer Sohail, and Sania Saeed. I rave about this film in my own review, saying that "it's an absolutely magnificent and enlightening feature about gender roles and how society is evolving."
Here's the first official trailer (+ extra teaser / posters) for Saim Sadiq's Joyland, direct from YouTube:
Haider (Ali Junejo) rushes his sister-in-law to the hospital, where she gives birth to a girl, devastating the extended family desperate for a baby boy. The brothers’ elderly father is still hopeful Haider and his wife, Mumtaz, despite their unorthodox relationship, will bring them their much-desired male heir. Everything changes, though, when Haider takes a job as a backup dancer at an erotic theater and falls in love with its beautiful transgender star Biba (Alina Khan). Joyland is directed by Pakistani filmmaker Saim Sadiq, making his feature directorial debut after numerous other short films previously. The screenplay is written by Saim Sadiq & Maggie Briggs. Produced by Apoorva Charan, Sarmad Khoosat, Lauren Mann, Kathryn M. Moseley, Oliver Ridge, April Shih, Katharina Otto-Bernstein. This initially premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival last year (read our review) where it won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize. Oscilloscope Labs will release Joyland in select US theaters sometime soon in early 2023. Stay tuned for an exact release date.
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