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Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy to be Canada’s Entry for Oscars 2021

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Filmmaker Deepa Mehta‘s Funny Boy will represent Canada in the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars 2021, a report by Variety said.

The film is based on Shyam Selvadurai’s 1994 novel by the same name. Set in Sri Lanka, against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war, the story revolves around the sexual awakening of a young boy. The film will feature Arush Nand, Brandon Ingram, Nimmi Harasgama, Ali Kazmi, Agam Darshi, Seema Biswas, and Shivantha Wijesinha in pivotal roles.

Earlier this month, filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing decided to distribute the film. Funny Boy will release in selected theatres in a few cities in Canada and will be released worldwide on Netflix on December 10.

Speaking to Variety, Mehta said, “It is Brecht who said ‘Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.’ We live in a world with borders, with divisions and differences. But now more than ever, we need each other, we need love and compassion and togetherness. ‘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. David Hamilton and myself thank the jurors across Canada who saw fit to support our film ‘Funny Boy.'”

Christina Dickinson of Telefilm Canada told Variety, “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.” Telefilm coordinates and chairs the 20-member pan Canadian selection committee that decides the Canadian entry for the Oscars.

The report also stated that 23 countries have submitted their nominations for the international feature film category.

Meanwhile, Mehta’s last film was the 2016 Canadian drama Anatomy of Violence. Her 2005 film Water from the Element trilogy, was also the country’s Oscar entry that year.

On Thursday, Japan announced Naomi Kawase’s True Mothers as its official entry to the Oscars. Other entries include And Tomorrow the Entire World (Germany), Charlatan (Czech Republic), and The Man Standing Next (South Korea). Even though India has not yet announced its official entry yet, three Indian filmmakers have been invited to the Oscars 2021 jury, namely, Nishtha Jain, Shirley Abraham, and Amit Madhesiya.

In April, the awards announced that films that were intended to have a theatrical release but made available on commercial streaming platforms are eligible for entry.

Meanwhile, David Fincher‘s biographical drama Mank, which will have a limited theatrical release on November 13, and a release on Netflix on December 4, will be the first film distributed by Netflix to contend for the Oscars.



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