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Fifteen years ago, Pakistanis began to hope for a revival of the film industry after nearly a decade-long dry spell. Since then, locally made films have increasingly graced cinema screens. In 2022, our cinema is now healthy and thriving, with a Pakistani feature film set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. This will be the first ever Pakistani feature to make it to the festival.

Joyland is also director Saim Sadiq’s first feature film. Last week, Cannes released their Official Selections list which carried the film’s name in the Uncertain Regards category. Pakistani social media was overjoyed and applauded the achievement as a step forward for our industry.

Joyland is the story of a Pakistani household that is set off balance when their youngest son falls in love with a transwoman. The film stars Alina Khan, Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Sohail Sameer, Sarwat Gilani, Salman Peerzada, and Sania Saeed. Sarmad Khoosat has produced the film, alongside producers Lauren Mann and Apoorva Charan.

In a conversation with Something Haute, Khoosat said, “This is beyond surreal for us. All we want to do is soak the joy in and at this moment we are very thrilled. This is a restoration of faith that Pakistani cinema is moving forward, especially our new age cinema.”

Khoosat stated that Joyland’s world premiere will be at Cannes, after which the team is hoping to plan a release in Pakistan for its home audience.


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A post shared by Sarmad Khoosat (@sarmadkhoosat)

Film Constellation, a European production and sales company, announced yesterday that they will be handling the film’s international sales while WME Independent will be managing sales in North America.

Earlier today, Sadiq unveiled the film’s poster on his social media. The poster shows a young man on a motorcycle carrying a larger-than-life cutout of Alina Khan’s character.


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A post shared by Saim Sadiq (@saim.sadiq)

Sadiq is no stranger to the international festival circuit. In 2019, his short film Darling won an award for Best Short Film at the Venice International Film Festival.

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