JOYLAND Discovery


U.S. Premiere

Screening to be followed by a conversation with director Saim Sadiq and producer Apoorva Guru Charan.

In his ravishing feature debut, Pakistani filmmaker Saim Sadiq astutely observes a patriarchal, lower-middle-class family’s hesitant explorations of desire and intimacy. When Haider (Ali Junejo), the affable but directionless second son, lands a gig as a background dancer in a contemporary courtesan act led by a transgender dancer, Biba (Alina Khan), little does he anticipate the sexual rebellion he will ignite at home, particularly affecting his maverick makeup artist wife, Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq). By turns ebullient, piercing and melancholic, JOYLAND shifts between the modalities of a “respectable” Muslim family’s living room and a rambunctious, erotic center stage. With production design of piquant greens and dance numbers of defiance, Sadiq’s drama interrogates gender and sexuality via a unique ensemble structure and is a highlight among recent queer cinema. –Ritesh Mehta

Saim Sadiq is a Pakistani filmmaker whose films include JOYLAND (Winner of Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the 75th Cannes Film Festival), DARLING (Best Short Film at the 76th Venice Film Festival, Special Mention at SXSW 2020, TIFF 2019) and NICE TALKING TO YOU (SXSW 2019, BAFTA Shortlist Best Student Film).


Country: Pakistan

Year: 2022

Director: Saim Sadiq

Screenwriters: Saim Sadiq, Maggie Briggs

Producers: Apoorva Guru Charan, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, Lauren Mann, Kathryn M. Moseley, Oliver Ridge, April Shih, Katharina Otto-Bernstein

Executive Producers: Malala Yousafzai, Ramin Bahrani, William Olsson, Jen Goyne Blake, Tiffany Boyle, Elsa Ramo, Oleg Dubson, Kathrin Lohmann, Hari Charana Prasad, Sukanya Puvvula and Owais Ahmed

Director of Photography: Joe Saade

Editors: Jasmin Tenucci, Saim Sadiq

Production Designer: Kanwal Khoosat

Music: Abdullah Siddiqui

Cast/Featuring: Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Alina Khan, Sarwat Gilani, Sohail Sameer, Salman Peerzada, and Sania Saeed

Running Time (minutes): 127

Languages: Urdu, Punjabi