IFFM Guests

The Joyland team

Ali Junejo

Ali Junejo has been working in theater for nearly two decades. He has starred in plays from Beckett, Mamet, and Shaffer, as well as original plays, including those written and directed by him. His recent work includes Sunil Shanker's short film NEXT SCENE (2021), followed by the feature JOYLAND (2022), directed by Saim Sadiq, and MAYA (2023), directed by Kanwal Khoosat. On the writing and directing front, he is currently developing two feature films scheduled to begin production by 2024.

Alina Khan

Alina Khan is a transgender dancer and actress from Lahore, Pakistan. Her acting debut in Saim Sadiq's short film DARLING elevated her to fame after the film won the Best Short Film Award at the 76th Venice Film Festival. Soon after, she got more acting opportunities in music videos and short films. Recently, she played the lead actress in HAPPY MARRIAGE by Sana Jafri. Saim Sadiq's JOYLAND (2022) is her feature debut, and a role she views as her most personal and challenging to date. As an advocate for transgender rights, Alina is celebrated by the transgender community in Pakistan for being a strong role model and trailblazer in the industry.

Apoorva Charan, Producer

Apoorva Charan is an LA based producer who was born in India and raised in Northern California. Charan started her career as a digital producer on series such as Asia's Got Talent and X Factor Indonesia.

An alumnus of Columbia University's MFA Film program, Charan has produced over twenty short films including LONELY BLUE NIGHT which won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at AFI Fest 2020, was an official selection at the Atlanta FF, and is available to stream on HBO Max, DISTANCE which won Film Pipeline's Best Film Award in 2020, and INTERIORS which premiered at the TIFF in September 2018 and was an official selection for Clermont-Ferrand 2019.

Charan was a 2019 Project Involve creative producing fellow, a 2020 Film Independent Creative Producing Lab fellow, a 2021 Women in Film Emerging Producers fellow, and has worked in development at Big Beach, Walt Disney Studios' live action department and at Blue Harp

JOYLAND, her producorial feature debut, helped launch the film & tv production company - all caps.

Through all caps, Charan aims to produce refreshing and unique narratives for a global audience.

Rasti Farooq

Rasti Farooq is a writer, actor and producer. He is currently working at Puffball, an award winning animation studio whose catalog of films includes CITY OF SMILES (2020) and SWIPE (2020), which was an official selection at Annecy 2021. When Rasti isn't writing dystopian films, she works as an actress, having starred in numerous plays and short films including LETTERS OF MIKAEL MUHAMMAD (2015), directed by Saim Sadiq, and MAY I HAVE THIS SEAT (2020), by Tabish Habib. Recently she has starred in GIDH (2021), directed by Kanwal Khoosat, JOYLAND (2022), by Saim Sadiq, and MAYA (2023), by Kanwal Khoosat.

Saim Sadiq, Director

Saim Sadiq is a Pakistani filmmaker whose film JOYLAND is the first Pakistani feature that premiered at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard.

His short film DARLING was the first Pakistani film to premiere at the 76th Venice Film Festival, where it won the Orrizonti Prize for Best Short Film. DARLING was also an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival 2019, won a Special Jury Mention award at South by Southwest 2020 and was acquired for distribution by Focus Features.

His previous short film NICE TALKING TO YOU was an official selection at South by Southwest 2019, Palm Springs International Shortsfest 2019, made the BAFTA Shortlist for Best Student Film and won Vimeo's Best Director award at Columbia University Film Festival 2018. It also won the Kodak Student Scholarship Gold Award.

Sadiq recently wrote the original pilot "It Never Rains in Cairo" for MakeReady with Brad Weston and Scott Silver executive producing. Currently, he is writing the film adaptation of New York Times bestseller "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet"; Oscar-nominated Bing Liu is attached to direct.