Activist and Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai has joined Pakistani film “Joyland’s” team as Executive Producer, a Variety report stated. “Joyland,” directed by Saim Sadiq, is Pakistan’s official submission in the foreign language film category at the Oscars. Yousafzai is backing the film through her own production company, Extracurricular Productions.
“I am incredibly proud to support a film that proves Pakistani artists are among the best in global cinema. “Joyland” invites us to open our eyes to the people closest to us — to see our family members and friends as they are, not colored by our own expectations or societal bias,” Yousafzai said.
“Joyland” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May this year, where it picked two awards — Un Certain Regard Jury Prize and Queer Palm. “Joyland” is conquering the international film circuits one film festival at a time.
The film was screened in the Special Presentations section at the Toronto International Film Festival and is set to be a part of the A Window on Asian Cinema section at Busan International Film Festival on October 6. Sadiq’s directorial debut is also a part of the ongoing BFI London Film Festival, competing for the Sutherland Award.
“Joyland” is the story of a middle-class family in Lahore where the patriarch desires a male heir to carry on the family name and finds himself against a son who falls for a transgender dancer.
The film received rave reviews from film critics, with the The Hollywood Reporter calling it an “aching consideration of gender and sexuality.”
“Joyland” features Pakistani transgender actress Alina Khan in the central role along with actors Ali Junejo, Salmaan Peerzada and Sarwat Gilani.