Pakistani film Joyland has been shortlisted for the Oscars, the first ever movie to do so from the country. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its Oscar shortlists for the 95th edition in 10 categories on Thursday.
The Pakistani film is among 15 films that made the cut for the best international feature film honour and will advance to the final stage of nominations.
The critically-acclaimed film follows a patriarchal family, craving 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 a trans woman.
Directed by Saim Sadiq, the film features Sania Saeed, Ali Junejo, Aleena Khan, Rasti Faruq, Salman Pirzada, and Sohail Samir among other actors. It is produced by Apoorva Guru Charan, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, and Lauren Mann.
Malala congratulates the director
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, who boarded the team of Joyland as an executive producer, congratulated Saim Sadiq for making it to the shortlist.
The official Instagram page of the movie shared a video of Malala expressing her happiness to Sadiq over a phone call. "You guys have done a tremendous job. This is a great moment for all the artists and also for Pakistan. It's an honour to be associated with this movie. This is amazing," she can be heard saying in the video. She also re-shared the post on her Instagram story.
Joyland was also the first film from Pakistan to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival and win the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section.
Controversy in Pakistan
After being cleared by the censor board, the film was reportedly declared "uncertified" for containing "highly objectionable material" that goes against the Pakistan's "social values and moral standards".
After facing backlash by celebrities and the public, PM Shehbaz Sharif formed a committee to review the ban, which was later revoked. Punjab reinstated the ban in the province though the film was released everywhere else and elicited glowing reviews.
(With inputs from PTI)
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