Fiction Feature Film

by Sudabeh Mortezai

A 2018, 102 min.

JOY on Facebook

Written & Directed by: Sudabeh Mortezai
Cinematography: Klemens Hufnagl
Editing: Oliver Neumann
Sound: Atanas Tcholakov
Production Design: Julia Libiseller
Costume Design: Carola Pizzini
Casting: Eva Roth
Producers: Oliver Neumann, Sabine Moser
Production: FreibeuterFilm

Joy Alphonsus: Joy
Precious Mariam Sanusi: Precious
Angela Ekeleme: Madame

With kind support by: Austrian Filminstitute, Vienna Film Fund, ORF Film/Fernseh-Abkommen

Worldsales: Netflix
Austrian Distributor: Filmladen

Download Zip Folder  ( Presseheft / Poster / Filmstills)
Giornate Degli Autori (Venice Days) 2018 – Hearst Award, Label Europa Cinemas
Chicago International Film Festival 2018 – Silver Hugo Special Jury Prize
BFI London Film Festival 2018 – Best Feature Film
Tofifest 2018
Viennale 2018 – Vienna Film Prize
Thessaloniki International Film Festival 2018
Sevilla IFF 2018 – Best Actress Award – Joy Alphonsus
AFI – European Union showcase 2018
Festival International du Film de Marrakech 2018 – Etoile D’Or for Best Feature
Max Ophüls Film Festival 2019 –
Prize for the socially relevant film, Prize for the best actress
Göteborg IFF 2019
Diagonale 2019 – Diagonale Acting Award – Joy Alphonsus, Best Costume Design – Carola Pizzini
Hong Kong IFF 2019
Vilnius IFF 2019
New Directors New Films Festival 2019
Istanbul Film Festival 2019
Bolzano IFF 2019
Jerusalem Film Festival 2019
Austrian Film Award – best film, best director, best female actress, best script


Joy is a young Nigerian woman caught in the vicious cycle of sex trafficking.
She walks 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.


Born 1968 in Ludwigsburg, Germany, to Iranian parents, Sudabeh Mortezai 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 numerous international awards, including the “Firebird Award” for Best Film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the “Vienna Film Award” at the Viennale.


2018 – Joy – Feature Film

2014 – Macondo – Feature Film

2009 – In the Bazar of the Sexes – Documentary

2006 – Children of the Prophet – Documentary


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