Pakistani stars dazzle at Cannes Film Fetival

By: News Desk
Published: 04:07 PM, 22 May, 2022
Pakistani stars dazzle at Cannes Film Fetival
Caption: (From L) Pakistani actress Sana Jafri, Pakistani actress Sania Saeed, actor Ali Junejo, director Saim Sadiq, actor Alina Khan, Pakistani actor and model Sarwat Gilani, actress Rasti Farooq and film producer Apoorva Charan attend a photocall at Cannes Film Festival.–AFP
Stay tunned with 24 News HD Android App
Get it on Google Play

A group of Pakistani actors set out their foot on Sunday at the on-going Cannes Film Festival being held at Cannes in southern France.

Pakistani actress Sana Jafri, Pakistani actress Sania Saeed, actor Ali Junejo, director Saim Sadiq, actor 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 edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France.

According to Variety website, Saim Sadiq’s feature debut, “Joyland,” returned to the world of erotic theatre that he explored in his 2019 Venice and SXSW winner “Darling”.

“Joyland” premiere at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard strand. The title, the first Pakistani film to be selected in Cannes, will vie for the Caméra d’Or.

The tale of sexual revolution sees a patriarchal family yearn 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 starlet.

Sadiq drew inspiration from his own family and a theatre close to his home in Lahore. “I came from a very morally upright, middle-class conservative family, and to find out that this other world exists, literally like a 10-minute drive from my house, that I never knew of. It’s so different, the world of the theater, where sexuality is not such a taboo where women can get on stage and be in such positions of power, where this is a certain form of erotica,” Sadiq says.

“It’s the same people who are probably sitting at a family dinner in my house, who probably are later going in and watching those shows sometimes, and then pretending that they’re not the same person existing in both worlds. For me, it became an interesting way of examining myself, my family and the world around me with a particular focus on gender and intimacy,” Sadiq adds.

Production is by Apoorva Guru Charan, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat (“Circus of Life”) and Lauren Mann (“The Card Counter”). It was produced through All Caps and Khoosat Films in association with Diversity Hire, One Two Twenty Entertainment, Blood Moon Creative, Film Manufacturers, Astrakan and Noruz Films, from producers Kathryn M. Moseley, Oliver Ridge, April Shih, and Katharina Otto-Bernstein.

Executive producers are Ramin Bahrani, William Olsson, Jen Goyne Blake, Tiffany Boyle, Elsa Ramo, Oleg Dubson, Kathrin Lohmann, Hari Charana Prasad, Sukanya Puvvula and Owais Ahmed.

Producer Charan met Sadiq while they were both studying at Columbia film school and produced his 2018 short film “Nowhere”. “I read the script. And I was like, I have to produce this, I felt it in my blood and veins that this film needed to exist,” said Charan.

Financing took a while to gather but the floodgates opened eventually. “I think this is the first Pakistani film that has all American financing. It was really a warm and welcoming feeling for me as an Indian producer based in Los Angeles.”

The film stars Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Sohail Sameer, Salman Peerzada, and Sania Saeed. Cinematography is done by Joe Saade (“Costa Brava Lebanon,” “Broken Keys”).

The Palme d'Or will be awarded on May 28.