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Team Joyland represents Pakistan at Cannes Film Festival

Director Saim Sadiq's debut directorial film "Joyland" is the first Pakistani feature selected in the official section under the Un Certain Regard at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The film features Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Sohail Sameer, Salman Peerzada, and Sania Saeed.

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The Pakistani film’s cast and crew, as well as director Saim Sadiq, arrived in Cannes dressed in summery hues and flowing fabrics for the formal photocall, with actor Sarwat Gilani providing early peaks of the event on her Instagram.

The feature film category at Cannes only accepts 14 films, so the fact that a Pakistani film made the cut — and for the first time in history! — is a source of great pride.
The film also features transgender actress Alina Khan.

Read more: A complete list of films competing for Cannes Palme d’Or

Pakistani artists have made us proud

Director Saim Sadiq’s debut feature Joyland has been nominated for the Un Certain Regard category for the inversed.

Sarwat Gilani, Salman Peerzada, Sania Saeed, Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, and Rasti Farooq are among the cast members. Sarmad Khoosat, Apoorva Guru Charan, and Lauren Mann are the producers of the film.

Pakistani film Joyland is garnering a massive response at the Cannes Film Festival as the stunning cast of the movie received a standing ovation at its premiere.

A video from the prestigious event is making rounds on social media in which the director Saim Sadiq can be seen gleaming with happiness upon receiving the felicitations for his remarkable job.

Sarwat Gilani, Pakistan’s most adored actress, walked the red carpet at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in an incredible costume, leaving everyone speechless. Elan’s sparkling mint green long dresses made the 39-year-old actress look ethereal.

Read more: Checkout the spectacular looks that were burning up the Cannes red carpet

She rounded off her look with high heels and minimal accessories including earrings and statement rings. The Churails actress was all smiles as she posed for the photographers at the event.

What is the movie Joyland about?

Joyland is now set to premiere in Un Certain Regard as the first Pakistani film ever picked for the festival’s official selection.

The story follows a young man from a patriarchal family who secretly joins an exotic dance theatre as a background performer and falls for a trans actress, while his wife is expecting their first child.

“It’s not my own story, but still a personal film because of its portrayal of the patriarchy, desire and intimacy, all of which I’ve been struggling with,” says Sadiq, who was born and raised in Lahore.

Read more: Lady on Fire’s all woman cast a hit at Cannes

The filmmaker first explored the world of trans dancers in Darling, his 2019 MFA thesis film at New York’s Columbia University, which won best short in Venice’s Horizons section and special jury mention at SXSW before being acquired by Focus Features. It marked the start of his collaboration with trans actress Alina Khan, with whom he reunited for Joyland.