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Oscars: French Distributor Gives Pakistani Contender ‘Joyland’ Qualifying Release After Local Ban



Pakistan’s Oscar hopeful Joylandwhich has been banned from cinemas in its home country, will get a theatrical run in France, meaning it can still qualify for the Academy Awards race.

French distributor Condor Films will give Saim Sadiq’s drama a one-week Oscar qualifying release in cinemas starting Nov. 18 and ahead of its scheduled, longer release in France in December.

Joyland is Pakistan’s official submission for Oscars in the best international feature category, but just a week ahead of its local theatrical release, the film was banned by Pakistan’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The film, which in part chronicles a love story between a young man and a trans woman, had been cleared by the country’s censors, but the Ministry of Information overruled them, saying the movie contained “highly objectionable material” and could not be shown in cinemas The move came after a concerted social media campaign that targeted the movie, claiming it contravened Pakistani and Islamic social values.

The ban threatened Joyland‘s Oscar chances, as all international feature contenders must have a minimum seven-day theatrical run in their country of origin or a similar run outside their home nation, to qualify for the Academy Awards.

Joyland premiered in Cannes, where it won the Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard. Film Constellation is handling international sales for the movie, with North American rights with WME Independent.

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