The year 2022 is proving to be the year the Pakistani entertainment industry earns international recognition for its talent. Arooj Aftab shook the nation by winning Pakistan's first Grammy and now Saim Sadiq's Joyland has made it to the Un Certain Regard category at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
The filmmaker will be making his way to the festival for the second time — he previously attended for his film Darling in 2019. Sadiq told Images that he's super excited, happy and grateful for the opportunity and so is the cast and crew that has worked very hard to make this film. "I hope it [Joyland] generates positivity and good debate at home in Pakistan and around the world because a lot of very passionate people have put a lot of heart and soul into this film," he said.
The filmmaker said he and his team will be revealing more about the film, including the cast, posters and teasers, very soon. According to Indie Wire, the film is rumoured to star a trans character.
Many celebrities and ace filmmakers have also congratulated Sadiq for making it to one of world's most prestigious film festivals. Documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and director Mehreen Jabbar took to Instagram and congratulated Sadiq on making it big.
Actor Nadia Afgan also wished the filmmaker on the photo-sharing application and wrote, "so proud of you, mommy loves you".
Churails stars Sarwat Gilani and Meher Bano also commented, congratulating the filmmaker.
Actor Nimra Bucha also shared a screenshot of the Cannes list of contenders and wrote, "Cannes meri jaan! [my heart] Saim Sadiq doing us proud every minute of the year."
Actor Mahira Khan also shared the news and said it's a "proud moment".
Indian filmmaker Tushar Tyagi also shared the news and wrote that he is "proud" of Sadiq and said Joyland is the first Pakistani film at Cannes.
Other contenders from the category includes films Retour à Séoul by Davy Chou, Beast Riley Keough and Gina Gammell, Burning Days by Emin Alper, Butterfly Vision by Maksim Nakonechnyi, Corsage by Marie Kruetzer, Domingo and the Mist by Ariel Escalante Meza, Godland by Hlynur Pálmason, Metronom by Alexandru Belc, Plan 75 by Hayakawa Chie, Rodeo by Lola Quivoron, Sick of Myself Kristoffer Borgli, The Silent Twins by Agnieszka Smocynska, The Stranger by Thomas M. Wright and Les Pires by Lise Akora and Romane Gueret.
Previously, Pakistani-American filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal made it to the festival for her film Wakhri, which was about an accidental social media star who learns the harsh cost of wearing masks in the real world that deals with themes like hypocrisy, trolling and the ultimate empowerment of self.