Written and directed by Saim Sadiq, Joyland will be the first Pakistani feature ever to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Joyland will compete in the Official Selection’s Un Certain Regard and will also vie for the Caméra d’Or.
The film stars Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Sohail Sameer, Salman Peerzada, and Sania Saeed.
Saim Sadiq’s debut feature follows his short film, Darling, which won the Orizzonti Best Short Film award at the 2019 Venice Film Festival and was acquired for worldwide distribution by Focus Features.
In the film, as the Ranas – a happily patriarchal joint family – yearn for the birth of a baby boy to continue the family line, their youngest son secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and falls for an ambitious trans starlet. Their impossible love story slowly illuminates the entire Rana family’s desire for a sexual rebellion.
Saim Sadiq, director commented “The making of this film has been a dream come true for me and my team and I am grateful to be able to share this moment with them – and to be showcased at the World’s most prestigious Film Festival. My amazing cast has given the characters of Joyland a kind of empathy and humanity that a filmmaker can only hope for and I am thrilled for the world to experience their magic.”
Joyland is produced by Apoorva Guru Charan, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat (Circus of Life) & Lauren Mann (Swiss Army Man, The Card Counter); all caps & Khoosat Films in association with Diversity Hire Ltd, One Two Twenty Entertainment, Blood Moon Creative, Film Manufacturers Inc, Astrakan AB, and Noruz Films from producers Kathryn M. Moseley, Oliver Ridge, April Shih, and Katharina Otto-Bernstein.
Executive Producers are Ramin Bahrani, William Olsson, Jen Goyne Blake, Tiffany Boyle, Elsa Ramo, Hari Charana Prasad, Sukanya Puvvula, Oleg Dubson, Kathrin Lohmann, and Owais Ahmed.
London & Paris-based production and sales house Film Constellation has boarded international sales on Cannes-bound Joyland and WME Independent is representing North American rights.