KARACHI: Joyland, a movie which remained mired in controversy in Pakistan, has become the country’s first-ever movie to be shortlisted for the Oscars, Dawn.com reported.

On Thursday, the Acade­­my announced the shortlis­ted movies and films in 10 categories for the 95th Awards.

Joyland was among 15 films shortlisted in the International Feature Film category and will advance to the nomination process.

It will be competing with 14 other movies from as many nations, including Argentina’s Argentina, 1985; 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; India’s Last Film Show; 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.

Earlier this year, Joyland also became the first Pakistani film to make it to the Cannes Film Festival where it won awards and received a standing ovation.

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, who became the movie’s executive producer in October, congratulated the team. The movie’s official Instagram account shared a video of Ms Yousafzai calling the movie’s director Saim Sadiq to congratulate him on the honour.

Hailing the milestone, she said everyone was proud of the movie’s team.

Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, chair of the Pakistani Academy Selection Committee this year, also shared the news on Instagram and said there was much to celebrate since Joyland is the first Pakistani film on the shortlist, 10 years after the committee was formed.

While the movie receives adulation across the world, its release in Pakistan was subjected to much scrutiny and even after numerous reviews and clearances the movie couldn’t be released countrywide.

Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2022

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