Multiple Pakistani films are slated for release in the upcoming months from Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan’s The Legend of Maula Jatt to Urwa Hocane’s production debut Tich Button but there’s one movie on everyone’s radar — Saim Sadiq’s Joyland. A lot of people had hoped for the film to premiere in Pakistan after it made waves at the Cannes Film Festival. The filmmaker has now announced that Joyland will be available to watch in theatres in Pakistan in November.
Taking to Instagram, Sadiq revealed on Tuesday a new artistic poster for the film by acclaimed artist Salman Toor. He also announced that Joyland will be screened in cinemas across Pakistan on November 18.
Sadiq said that there couldn’t have been a better way to announce the news by sharing a brand new poster by a Pakistani artist he admires. “No image could ever represent the collective human essence of Joyland better than what Salman has so graciously given us and I’m forever in his debt,” he wrote.
Sadiq also introduced a character played by Ali Junejo, Haider, who’s the main face on the new poster. He also credited a user called The Lills Bills on Instagram for doing “justice to the artwork” with an elegant design.
Earlier this year in the summer, Joyland made headlines when it received an eight-minute standing ovation at its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival where it was also awarded the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize. It also won an award for the Best Film of the Subcontinent category at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne in August. Recently, Joyland got another standing ovation at TIFF at their North American premiere.
According to a press release, Joyland is set in Lahore and its story primarily revolves around Junejo’s character Haider, the youngest son of a middle-class family. He secretly joins theatre as a background dancer and develops a friendship with Biba, a trans dancer struggling to make a mark in theatres. The family drama in the film emphasises the themes of “desire, secrets and empathy”.
The film has been written and directed by Sadiq and produced by Apoorva Guru Charan, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat and Lauren Mann. The film’s ensemble cast includes debutantes Junejo, Alina Khan, and Rasti Farooq alongside some of Pakistan’s beloved and respected actors like Sarwat Gilani, Sania Saeed, Sohail Sameer, and Salmaan Peerzada.
Even though the film is releasing on November 18 in theatres, an official trailer has yet to be released.