Pakistani film ‘Joyland’, written and directed by debutant Saim Sadiq, won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the 75th Cannes Film Festival on Friday, becoming the first-ever film from the subcontinent to bag the award.
‘Joyland’, a drama about a Lahore family in the firm grip of deep-rooted patriarchy, was pipped to the section’s top award, the Un Certain Regard Prize, by the French film ‘Les Pires’ (The Worst Ones), helmed by the Paris-based directing duo of Lisa Akoka and Romane Gueret.
‘Les Pires’ is the second female-helmed film in two years to win the coveted award. Last year, the Un Certain Regard prize was won by Kira Kivalenko’s ‘Unclenching the Fists’.
The award for ‘Joyland’ represents a global breakthrough of immeasurable proportions for the relatively small Pakistani movie industry. Incidentally, ‘Joyland’ also won the Prix Queer Palm, awarded by Jury chaired by filmmaker Catherine Corsini on Friday.
One of the central characters in the film is a transwoman played by a real-life transwoman Alina Khan The Un Certain Regard Best Director Award went to the Romanian director Alexandre Belc for ‘Metronom’, while the Best Screenplay Prize was bagged by the Israeli-Palestinian director Maha Haj for ‘Mediterranean Fever’.
Luxembourg actress Vicky Krieps, for her performance in Austrian filmmaker Marie Kreutzer’s ‘Corsage’, shared the best acting award with French actor Adam Bessa’s turn in Nathan Lotfy’s ‘Harka’. The Un Certain Regard jury was chaired by Italian producer-director-actress Valeria Golino.