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In a subcontinental first, Pakistani film ‘Joyland’ wins Cannes sidebar Jury

Pakistani film ‘Joyland’ wins Cannes sidebar Jury Award in a subcontinental first.


CANNES: On Friday, debutant Saim Sadiq’s Pakistani film “Joyland” won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first film from the subcontinent to do so.

The French film “Les Pires” (The Worst Ones), directed by the Paris-based directing duo Lisa Akoka and Romane Gueret, was pipped to the section’s top award.

The Un Certain Regard Prize, by “Joyland,” is a drama about a Lahore family in the grip of deep-rooted patriarchy.

“Les Pires” is the second female-directed film to win the award in two years.

Kira Kivalenko’s “Unclenching the Fists” won the Un Certain Regard prize last year.

The award for “Joyland” represents an immeasurable global breakthrough for Pakistan’s relatively small film industry.

In addition, “Joyland” was awarded the Prix Queer Palm on Friday by a jury chaired by filmmaker Catherine Corsini.

Alina Khan, a real-life transwoman, plays one of the film’s central characters, a transwoman.

The Un Certain Regard Best Director Award went to Romanian director Alexandre Belc for “Metronom,” while Israeli-Palestinian director Maha Haj won Best Screenplay for “Mediterranean Fever.”

Vicky Krieps of Luxembourg won the best actress for her performance in Austrian filmmaker Marie Kreutzer’s “Corsage,” which she shared with French actor Adam Bessa in Nathan Lotfy’s “Harka.” Valeria Golino, an Italian producer-director-actress, presided over the Un Certain Regard jury.

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