Columbia Filmmakers Screen in Cannes 2022: “Joyland” wins Jury Prize

Updated June 1, 2022

After 11 days of screenings and celebrations, the winners of the 75th Festival de Cannes have been announced. congratulations to joy land through Saim Sadiq ’19, who took home the judges’ award in the Un Certain Regard category.

This prestigious win comes after an exciting few days at the festival for the joy land Team. As the first Pakistani film to be selected for Cannes, joy land was already poised to make history, but the groundbreaking film about the sexual revolution in a patriarchal family made waves at the festival, receiving a standing ovation after its screening.

The film follows a patriarchal family hoping for the birth of a baby boy to continue the family line while their youngest son secretly joins an erotic dance theater and falls in love with an aspiring trans starlet.

Sadiq, who co-wrote, directed and produced the film, drew inspiration from his own upbringing in Lahore and a theater near where he lives. “I come from a very morally upstanding, conservative, middle-class family,” Sadiq shared in an interview with Variety, “and to find out that this other world exists, literally just a 10-minute drive from my house, that I never did.” knew from…It’s so different, the world of theater, where sexuality isn’t such a taboo, where women can come on stage and hold such positions of power, where that’s some form of eroticism, it’s probably the same people at a dinner party sitting in my house with the family who’ll probably go in later and watch those shows sometimes and then pretend they’re not the same person that exists in both worlds. For me, it became an interesting way of relating to myself examine my family and the world around me with a particular focus on gender and intimacy.”

Sadiq worked closely with his mentor, film alumna and Dean’s Council member Catherine Otto Bernstein ’92 SOA (’86 CC) – whose mentoring program has helped many film alumni to succeed joy land from script to screen, and the film’s creative team includes a number of Columbia alumni and faculty members. The film is directed and produced by Otto Bernstein Apoorva Charan ’18, co-written by Maggie Briggs ’19 and edited by Jasmine Tennuci ’20. associate professor Ramin Bahrani (CC ’96) serves as executive producer and Mona Mahn ’20 as Associate Producer. Also on the creative team Rob Bellon ’19, Esteban Garcia Vernaza ’20, Bane Fakih ’19, Mark Sean Haynes ’17 and Emperor Wahab ’99 (right).

The full list of Cannes 2022 winners can be found here.

Originally: May 4, 2022

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