"I wanted to make a film that gives an intimate and authentic glimpse into the lives of trafficked women and to show them as subjects of their own stories. Joy reveals what we rarely see: the private moments, the everyday struggles, the complex power dynamics, the strength and dignity of these foreign women walking Europe's streets and red-light districts. The film's point of view is completely through the eyes of Joy. It's her journey and her relationship with her Madame and newcomer Precious that drive the story. There is no ‘white savior.' The johns, the nice guys as well as the brutes, remain minor characters."
Sudabeh Mortezai (Ludwigsburg, Germany, 1968) grew up in Tehran and Vienna. She received her MA in theater and film studies from the University of Vienna in 1994. She worked as a programmer for film festivals and organized a number of film events as the manager and curator of Filmcasino, an independent arthouse theater in Vienna. After completing UCLA's certificate program in Film, TV, and Digital Entertainment Media in 2003, she worked as an assistant director and production manager and directed and produced several short films before making her feature-length documentary Children of the Prophet. She made her feature debut in 2014 with Macondo, which premiered in competition at the Berlinale 2014 and garnered multiple international awards, including the Firebird Award for Best Film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Premio Ambar at the Film Festival in San Cristobal de las Casas and the Vienna Film Award at the Viennale International Film Festival.