‘Joyland’ becomes the first Pakistani film to a win a jury prize at Cannes

The Saim Sadiq film gets a standing ovation at the festival.

‘Joyland’ has been making headlines after being the first Pakistani film to be screened at Cannes. The film which explores the taboo topics of gender identity and sexuality has once again made history.

It became the first Pakistani film to win the “Un Certain Regard” Jury Prize. This category is mostly focused on films made by young and innovative filmmakers.

The film also won the Cannes Queer Palm prize for best LGBT, queer or feminist themed movie. The head of the Cannes Queer Palm jury, Catherine Corsini, had this to say; “It’s a very powerful film, that represents everything that we stand for.”

She further went on to say; “It has strong characters who are both complex and real. Nothing is distorted. We were blown away by this film.”

The cast of Joyland at Cannes. (Source: Al Jazeera)

‘Joyland’, as mentioned earlier, touches on the taboo topics of gender identity and sexuality. The story centers around the life of the youngest son in an extremely patriarchal family.

They expect him to have a son with his wife. However, his life takes a massive turn after he becomes a backup dancer for an erotic dance theatre and starts having feelings for its director, a trans woman.

The film is one of the very few in Pakistan that explores the daily struggles and discrimination faced by the trans community. Hopefully, the success of this film inspire other filmmakers to produce films around the same subject.

After all, representation matters and the most vulnerable in our society also deserve fair and just representation in the media.

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