Canada has selected Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy, an adaptation of Shyam Selvadurai’s coming-of-age novel of the same name, to represent the country in the 2021 Oscar race in the international feature category.
The film Funny Boy, co-written by Deepa Mehta and Selvaduri, was shot on location and set in Sri Lanka in the ’70s and ’80s and explores the awakening of sexual identity by a young boy named Arjie (portrayed by Arush Nand and Brandon Ingram). As political tensions escalate to a boiling point between the minority Tamils and the majority Sinhalese, a young boy comes of age in a society and family that doesn’t embrace difference outside of societal norms. The film centres on Arjie’s struggle to find balance and self-love despite the absence of empathy and understanding.
Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing has already sold the Sri Lanka-set drama to Netflix for a Dec. 10 release.
The film stars Brandon Ingram, Nimmi Harasgama, Ali Kazmi, Agam Darshi and Arush Nand, and premieres on the CBC network in Canada on Dec. 4.
The 2021 Academy Awards will take place April 25, 2021. The Oscar nominations will be announced on March 15.