Malala Yousafzai is now a filmmaker and activist.
Sky News exclusive: The Nobel Peace Prize winner stated that “storytelling” was her next phase of human rights work.
Malala said: “Activism must go beyond working for an NGOs.
“We must find other ways to challenge social norms that deny women their basic human rights and their dignity.
“The screen allows us to communicate with others and makes us more open-minded towards other people.”
Malala is Joyland’s executive producer. Saim Sadiq directs this Oscar-nominated queer love story about transgender desire in Pakistan, an Islamic republic.
Malala’s human right mission is based on creating safe spaces for women.
Continue reading: Malala Yousafzai criticizes Hollywood’s lack of Asian representation
Malala Yousafzai is married in a small ceremony in Birmingham
She was 15 years old when the Taliban shot her in the head while she was fighting for girls’ education in Pakistan.
Malala was treated for her injuries in Birmingham.
After graduating from Edgbaston High, she continued her education at Oxford, where she studied philosophy, economics, and politics.
She was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Malala didn’t give up despite her ordeal and continued to fight for justice. Malala’s Fund was an NGO she set up, using her influence to advocate for all women across the globe.
“Everyone’s story matters”
Malala, now 25, told Sky News that she is so grateful to Saim for ensuring that the transwoman role was filled by a woman. This was crucial.
“This is an incredible achievement for Pakistan, to ensure that everyone has the chance to see the screen.
“Everyone has a story. Every person’s story is important and deserves to be told. Transgender people should have the same rights as everyone else.
“What’s really sad is that we don’t want people talking about issues and don’t want these stories to make the screen. “I hope we can challenge that.”
Joyland tries to do exactly that. This is the first major Pakistani motion movie to feature a trans actor as a lead character.
The film was nominated for an Oscars in Pakistan, but the government of the country banned it in August after intense pressure from Islamic extremist groups who called it “repugnant and highly objectionable”.
Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, a senator from the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami said that “Glamorising transgenders of Pakistan as well as their love lives is a direct attack against our beliefs.”
Amnesty International claimed that the ban was “censorship” which represented a “crackdown on freedom of expression”.
Mid-November saw the decision overturned and the film is now available across the country, except Punjab, where it was originally set.
Sky News’ Saim Sadiq, 31, said that the film was a “big act of resistance”.
He said, “I realized when the film was released that there were a lot people who are very uncomfortable just the existence” of the film.
“Banning the film may be the fastest way to make activism work and get everyone to talk about the issues that we want.”
Joyland has been released in UK cinemas.