Official Selection


by Sudabeh Mortezai
Austria, 2018, 100', color, DCP
Screenplay: Sudabeh Mortezai
09:00 Sala Perla Press, Industry
17:00 Sala Perla Tickets, All Accreditations
Followed by Q&A
22:15 Sala Perla 2 Tickets, All Accreditations

Sudabeh Mortezai
Klemens Hufnagl
Oliver Neumann

Atanas Tcholakov
production design
Julia Libiseller
Carola Pizzini

Joy Anwulika Alphonsus (Joy)
Precious Mariam Sanusi (
Angela Ekeleme Pius (Madame)Gift Igweh
Sandra John

Chika Kipo
Ella Osagie
Christian Ludwig

Oliver Neumann
Sabine Moser

with the support of
Austrian Film Institute
Vienna Film Fund
ORF Film/Fernseh - Abkommen

world sales
Films Boutique

press office
Richard Lormand

Joy is a young Nigerian woman caught in the vicious cycle of sex trafficking. She works the streets to pay off debts to her exploiter Madame, while supporting her family in Nigeria and hoping for a better life for her little daughter in Vienna. Joy struggles to understand her role in this merciless system of exploitation when she is instructed by Madame to supervise Precious, a teenage girl fresh from Nigeria who is not ready to accept her fate.



2018 Joy
2014 Macondo
2009 In the Bazar of the Sexes (doc)
2006 Children of the Prophet (doc)

"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.

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