Deepa Mehta's Funny Boy selected as Canada's international film entry to Oscars 2021

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Deepa Mehta directorial Funny Boy has been chosen as Canada's official entry to the 93rd Academy Awards in the best international feature film segment, announced Telefilm Canada's executive director Christa Dickenson on Friday.

This is the second time that Deepa will be competing in the category, as her previous nomination had come with Water, the third feature in her Elements trilogy, in 2007.

Read the announcement here

Set in Sri Lanka during the 1970s and 1980s, Funny Boy talks about the sexual awakening of a young boy Arjie (played by Arush Nand/ Brandon Ingram). Arjie is treated as "funny" by a disapproving family as he has to deal with growing interest in a male classmate.

Surrounded by political tensions with the turbulent Tamil-Sinhalese conflict leading up to the civil war, the protagonist has to deal with acceptance and self-love in a world vying for just the opposite. The film is an adaptation of author Shyam Selvadurai's 1994 novel of the same.

Hollywood filmmaker Ava DuVernay's ARRAY Releasing will be distributing Funny Boy and it will be released in select theatres of select few cities. The movie is also coming to Netflix to be streamed by other countries on 10 December.

Speaking about the selection, Christa Dickenson said that they had received eleven submissions from which Deepa Mehta's directorial was picked. Telefilm is the committee, comprising around 20 members representing government agencies and national film industry associations, that decides the Canadian entry into the Academy Awards.

Deepa stressed that we needed love and compassion now more than ever and said: "Funny Boy to me is about humanity and hope. It's about holding up a flag of inclusion, in a world tethering towards an abyss of the great divide."

Variety reported that this year 23 countries have submitted their entry in the international film category for shortlisting. Last year 93 nations were in the contention. Les Invasions barbares (2003) is the only Canadian film to have won the Oscar in this segment.

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