Pakistani feature film ‘Joyland’ wins Cannes Sidebar Jury Prize

The Pakistani film “Joyland,” directed by newbie Saim Sadiq, was awarded the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the 75th Cannes Film Festival on Friday, making it the first film from the subcontinent to do so.

On Friday, newcomer Saim Sadiq’s Pakistani film “Joyland” won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, making it the first film from the subcontinent to do so. The French film “Les Pires” (The Worst Ones), directed by the Paris-based directorial duo Lisa Akoka and Romane Gueret, was pipped to the section’s highest award, the Un Certain Regard Prize, by “Joyland,” a drama about a Lahore family in the grip of deep-rooted sexism.

“Les Pires” is the second female-directed film to win the award in two years. Kira Kivalenko’s “Unclenching the Fists” earned the Un Certain Regard prize last year. For the comparatively modest Pakistani film industry, the Oscar for “Joyland” signifies a global breakthrough of unimaginable dimensions. On Friday, “Joyland” was also awarded the Prix Queer Palm, which was chaired by filmmaker Catherine Corsini. A transwoman, played by real-life transwoman Alina Khan, is one of the primary protagonists in the film.

The Romanian director Alexandre Belc won the Un Certain Regard Best Director Award for “Metronom,” while Israeli-Palestinian director Maha Haj won the Best Screenplay Award for “Mediterranean Fever.” Vicky Krieps of Luxembourg shared the best acting award with French actor Adam Bessa for his role in Nathan Lotfy’s “Harka” in Austrian filmmaker Marie Kreutzer’s “Corsage.” Valeria Golino, an Italian producer, director, and actor, presided over the Un Certain Regard jury.

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