Pakistan, USA
Urdu, Punjabi
closed captions
audio description
english subtitles
film contact
Oscilloscope Laboratories

Groundbreaking and heartbreaking in equal measure, Pakistan’s official Oscar® selection and winner of the Cannes 2022 Queer Palm centers on Haider, a shy young man in desperate need of a job, who learns the crushing weight of gender norms when he accepts a gig as a backup dancer for a trans showgirl. —M.G.

Unemployed and aimless, Haider lives in a crowded apartment with his wife, his father, his brother, his brother’s wife, and his brother’s children. While Haider is content to stay at home and help with the children, Haider’s wife Mumtaz enjoys working as a makeup artist in the city to help make ends meet. But their family dynamic is shaken up when Haider is unexpectedly hired as a backup dancer for Biba, a beautifully bold trans woman who lights up the stage every time she performs. A layered drama peppered with joys and sorrows, JOYLAND takes a hard look at the familial dysfunction that lies underneath an oppressively patriarchal structure. Centered around Haider and Mumtaz as they explore their increasingly separate journeys, we find that one path leads to tragedy, and the other to freedom. —G.S. 

Content Warning: This film contains material that may be difficult for some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

Asian Cinema
Queer Cinema
Only at Playhouse Square
New Direction Competition