On Sunday, a group of Pakistani actors arrived in Cannes, France, to participate in the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.
Sana Jafri, Sania Saeed, Ali Junejo, Saim Sadiq, Alina Khan, Pakistani actor and model Sarwat Gilani, actress Rasti Farooq, and film producer Apoorva Charan attended a photocall for the film “Joyland” at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France.
Saim Sadiq’s feature debut, “Joyland,” according to Variety, “returned to the world of sensual theatre that he explored in his 2019 Venice and SXSW winner “Darling.”
The premiere of “Joyland” took place at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard strand. The film will compete for the Caméra d’Or, making it the first Pakistani film to be selected in Cannes.
A patriarchal family yearns for the birth of a baby boy to continue the family line, while their youngest son secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and falls for an ambitious transsexual actress in this story of sexual revolution.
Sadiq was inspired by his own family as well as a theatre near his birthplace in Lahore. “I come from a really morally upright, middle-class conservative household, and to discover that there is a whole other world out there, literally a 10-minute drive from my house, that I had no idea about is incredible. The realm of theatre is so different, where sexuality isn’t so taboo, where women can walk on stage and be in such powerful positions, where this is a type of erotica,” Sadiq adds.
“It’s probably the same folks who are sitting at a family dinner in my house, who are afterwards going in and watching those shows on sometimes, and then pretending that they aren’t the same person existing in both worlds.” It became an exciting approach for me to examine myself, my family, and the society around me, with a focus on gender and intimacy,” Sadiq continues.
Apoorva Guru Charan, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat (“Circus of Life”), and Lauren Mann (“The Card Counter”) are in charge of production. Producers Kathryn M. Moseley, Oliver Ridge, April Shih, and Katharina Otto-Bernstein worked with All Caps and Khoosat Films in collaboration with Diversity Hire, One Two Twenty Entertainment, Blood Moon Creative, Film Manufacturers, Astrakan, and Noruz Films.
Ramin Bahrani, William Olsson, Jen Goyne Blake, Tiffany Boyle, Elsa Ramo, Oleg Dubson, Kathrin Lohmann, Hari Charana Prasad, Sukanya Puvvula, and Owais Ahmed serve as executive producers on the film.
While both attending Columbia Film School, producer Charan met Sadiq and produced his 2018 short film “Nowhere.” “I went through the script. And I was like, ‘I have to produce this,’ because I knew this picture had to be made,” Charan explained.
Financing took some time to come together, but once it did, the floodgates opened. “I believe this is the first Pakistani film to be entirely funded by American investors.” As an Indian producer located in Los Angeles, it was a very warm and welcome feeling.”
Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Sohail Sameer, Salman Peerzada, and Sania Saeed are among the cast members. Joe Saade (“Costa Brava Lebanon,” “Broken Keys”) is the cinematographer.