- Says 'I am incredibly proud to support a film that proves Pakistani artists are among the best in global cinema'
Activist Malala Yousafzai has joined award-winning 'Joyland', Pakistan's entry for the International Feature Film Award category at the Oscars next year, as Executive Producer, announced producer Sarmad Khoosat on social media yesterday.
Yousafzai already heads her own film and TV production company, Extracurricular, it was reported earlier, and is in the process of developing a slate of projects as part of a multi-year programming deal with Apple TV+.
Of the collaboration, Yousafzai was quoted as saying by Variety Magazine: “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 was recently honoured for being a creative leader alongside Hillary and Chelsea Clinton and others at a 'Power of Women' event held by Variety.
At the event, she spoke about representation of Muslims in Hollywood, citing how “Asian people like me make up less than 4% of leads in Hollywood films. Muslims are 25% of the population, but only 1% of characters in popular TV series.”
She further remarked: “I know the executives have passed on dozens of quality, equally amazing projects because they thought that the characters or their creators were too young, too brown, too foreign, too poor."
Joyland flying high
'Joyland' was Pakistan's very first entry at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this year, where it collected both the Cannes Queer Palm prize as well as the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard category.
The film, starring Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani, Sohail Sameer, Salman Peerzada, and Sania Saeed explores the story of a patriarchal family system yearning for a baby boy, whose youngest son secretly joins an erotic dance theater and falls for an ambitious transsexual starlet.
Written and directed by Saim Sadiq, the film is currently playing at the BFI London Film Festival, where it is competing for the Sutherland Award, which recognizes the most original and imaginative directorial debut, as well as the Busan International Film Festival, where it is in the A Window on Asian Cinema category, reported Variety on Wednesday.
The film is slated to be released in Pakistan on November 18. Condor has acquired distribution rights for France and Studio Soho for the UK and Ireland according to reports.