A stay-at-home husband secretly takes on a job as a backup dancer in an erotic theatre in Lahore, Pakistan, in this Cannes Film Festival favourite.
With three granddaughters so far, the Rana Family – a middle-class joint family in Pakistan – yearn for the birth of a baby boy to continue the family line. Bucking a patriarchal status quo, Haider, the younger of two brothers, happily helps at home while his wife works as a make-up artist. However, under pressure from his father, he seeks out a job, taking on a role at an erotic dance theatre where he sheepishly works as a backup dancer for Biba, an ambitious starlet.
Female sexuality, non-traditional gender roles and quiet queer explorations diverge and gently intersect within a patriarchal frame in Saim Sadiq's Lollywood feature film debut. Making its premiere at Cannes where it screened in the Un Certain Regard section – a first for a Pakistani film – Joyland received the Jury Prize and the Queer Palm. More recently, it has been chosen as Pakistan’s official submission for the Academy Awards in 2023.
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