Joyland: Pakistan’s trans-themed movie makes it to Oscars after facing heat at home

KARACHI – Controversial Pakistani movie Joyland has reached new heights as it has been selected in the Oscar’s International Feature Film category.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences lately shared its shortlists in 10 categories for the 95th Academy Awards with a Pakistani trans-themed movie earning a place in ‘International Feature Film’ category.

The movie, which was initially banned for including ‘objectionable content’ is reportedly the first Pakistani project that has been on the list at the Oscars – the most prestigious, significant awards in the entertainment industry.

Other movies in the same category include Argentina’s Argentina, Austria’s Corsage, Belgium’s Close, Cambodia’s Return to Seoul, Denmark’s Holy Spider, France’s Saint Omer, Germany’s All Quiet on the Western Front, Ireland’s The Quiet Girl, Mexico’s Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, Morocco’s The Blue Caftan, Poland’s EO, South Korea’s Decision to Leave and Sweden’s Cairo Conspiracy.

As the media catches the air of Joyland’s latest feat, top celebrities and activists including Noble Aureate Malala and British actor Riz Ahmed commended Oscar nomination.

In a recent post on Instagram, Malala expressed pleasure. “Everyone who was on the screen, behind the screen. You guys have done such a tremendous job. It’s a huge honour for me to be a part of this project. It is such an amazing moment for all the artists and for Pakistan. The team must know everyone’s so proud of them,” she wrote.

Riz Ahmad, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and others also shared a screenshot of an article reporting Joyland’s entry to the Oscars.

The movie initially faced several difficulties in the home country. After being cleared by the censor board, it was banned in Punjab for containing highly objectionable material that opposes religious and social values in Pakistan.

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