Joyland bags Best International Film at Spirit Awards 2023

LAHORE: Joyland’s journey may have ended for the Oscars after it failed to bag a nomination this year but the global praise still keeps coming.

On Sunday, the Saim Sadiq directorial added another award to its long list of accolades at the 38th Independent Spirit Awards where the film won an award for Best International Film.

As per Variety, the movie managed to beat four other nominations including Marie Kreutzer’s Corsage, Martika Ramirez Escobar’s Leonor Will Never Die, Davy Chou’s Return to Seoul and Alice Diop’s Saint Omer.

“They did send us an email saying you should prepare a speech and I archived it and I didn’t take it seriously at all and now I’m ashamed because I have so many things to say and so many people to thank and I’m just scared that I’ll forget someone,” said Sadiq in his speech.

Sadiq, thanking everyone from producers Riz Ahmed, Malala, and Apoorva Guru Charan to his crew, and cast, exclaimed that he wouldn’t have come this far without them.

“Thank you really because to support a film that comes from Pakistan that’s in Urdu and Punjabi and talks about the things that this film talks about, it’s not an easy decision to make,” he said.

“It was easier for me to say I want to make this film but perhaps pretty hard for them to say they want to put their mind behind it so I think they deserve so much credit for it.”

Concluding, the director owed the award to his team of actors. “[I want to thank] the three people who really really made this film. Alina Khan, Ali Junejo and Rasti Farooq, this one would not be possible without you. Thank you so much.

I hope your future is so so bright,” he said. Joyland tells the story of a man raised in a conservative patriarchal family who falls in love with a transgender dancer he met at an erotic dance theatre.

The film stars Khan, Junejo, Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Sania Saeed, Salman Peerzada and Sohail Sameer. The film is the first Cannes entry award-winning film for Pakistan.

It won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the renowned film festival.

After that, the film won many awards at international film festivals and was also shortlisted for the Oscars from Pakistan. Joyland was “banned” by the Central Board of Film Censors in Pakistan a week before its release due to complaints surrounding its “immoral” content.

After being re-reviewed by a committee formed by the prime minister, and it was given go-ahead to release. Punjab, albeit, did not allow it to be screened, despite it being cleared with minor cuts.