Joyland, a film by Saim Sadiq, has been nominated for the 95th Academy Awards. The movie is Pakistan’s first entry in the international feature film category of the Oscars. Joyland earned the unofficial Queer Palm award and the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Joyland was announced in September as Pakistan’s official submission for the 95th edition of the world’s most prestigious film awards. Alina Khan, Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Salman Peerzada, and Sania Saeed are featured in the film. Malala Yousafzai is the executive producer of the film.
Read more: Punjab Government bans screening of Joyland
Although the government of Pakistan later overturned the initially imposed ban on the movie, the filmmakers are still not permitted to exhibit the film in many areas of the country, notably the Punjab province. The Punjab government maintains that it cannot let the film release “in the wake of persistent complaints received from different quarters” because it contains “highly objectionable” content.
Human rights activists have stressed that only those who have not seen the movie are vouching for its ban because the movie only promotes human rights and tries to break the patriarchal stereotypes of our society. This is in contrast to conservatives, who continue to condemn the film, claiming that it goes against the family and moral values of Pakistan.