Joyland: Malala boards Pakistani submission for Oscars 2023

Movie won Cannes Queer Palm prize for best LGBT or feminist-themed movie
<p>Malala Yousafzai joins Joyland as executive producer. Photo: File</p>

Malala Yousafzai joins Joyland as executive producer. Photo: File

The Oxford University graduate who heads her own TV and drama production company, Extracurricular Productions is now joining Joyland, as an executive producer of Pakistan’s Oscars nomination in the international feature category.

The locally produced movie Joyland became the first Pakistani movie to be screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, and it also made its way to the Toronto Film Festival.

The movie won the Cannes Queer Palm prize for best LGBT, “queer” or feminist-themed movie. The film also won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard segment.

The film is currently showing at the Busan International Film Festival as part of the “A Window on Asian Cinema” strand, as well as the BFI London Film Festival, where it is competing for the Sutherland Award, which honors the most inventive and original directorial debut.

The storyline follows a patriarchal family as they crave for the birth of a baby boy to continue the family line, while their youngest son secretly joins an erotic dance theater and falls for a trans woman.

While talking to Variety, Yousafzai said, “I am incredibly proud to support a film that proves Pakistani artists are among the best in global cinema. Joyland invites us to open our eyes to the people closest to us — to see our family members and friends as they are, not colored by our own expectations or societal bias.”

Malala is among the creative leaders honored for Variety’s 2022 Power of Women presented by Lifetime.

Malala has partnered with Apple TV+, and her first production is a feature film adaptation of Elaine Hsieh Chou’s book Disorientation.

The second project is based on Asha Lemmie’s novel Fifty Words for Rain, about a woman’s search for acceptance in post-World War II Japan.


Pakistani cinema

malala yousafzai


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