Acclaimed filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s upcoming feature Funny Boy will represent Canada at the 93rd Academy Awards as the submission for best international film, marking the director’s second time competing in the category.
Mehta’s film Water, the third feature in her Elements trilogy, was Oscar-nominated in the international feature film category in 2007. The first film in the trilogy was Earth and the director followed it up with Fire.
Funny Boy is an adaptation of author Shyam Selvadurai’s 1994 novel of the same. Set in Sri Lanka during the 1970s and 1980s, the film explores the sexual awakening of its young protagonist Arjie (Arush Nand/Brandon Ingram) from a young boy, deemed “funny” by disapproving family, to a teenager enamoured by a male classmate.
As political tensions escalate to a boiling point between the minority Tamils and the majority Sinhalese, the young boy comes of age in a society and family that doesn’t embrace difference outside of societal norms.
“Eleven outstanding films were submitted this year, and we are confident that Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy will appeal to Academy members just as her powerful film Water did in 2007, when it was nominated in this prestigious category,” said Christa Dickenson, executive director of Telefilm Canada, which chairs the pan-Canadian selection committee deciding the country’s entry for the Oscars. Mehta, the Amritsar born, Toronto-based filmmaker, believes Funny Boy serves hope in the world full of divides.—PTI