The creators of “Funny Boy” have been forced change the film’s submission for the 2021 Oscars after it did not meet the Academy’s eligibility requirements for the International Feature category due to the amount of English dialogue which it contains.
The Canadian made movie will now be submitted for consideration in Best Picture and general entry categories instead.
“Shot on location and set in Sri Lanka in the ’70s and ’80s, ‘Funny Boy’ explores the awakening of sexual identity by a young boy named Arjie,” the official synopsis reads. “As political tensions escalate to a boiling point between the minority Tamils and the majority Sinhalese, the boy comes of age in a society and family that doesn’t embrace differences outside of societal norms. The film chronicles Arjie’s struggle to find balance and self-love despite the absence of empathy and understanding.”
“Although we were disappointed when informed by the Academy, we are excited to extend our ongoing support for ‘Funny Boy’ as the journey to the Oscars continue,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada.
Cowriter-director Deepa Mehta added, “We were surprised that the film was not able to compete in the Academy’s International Feature category, but then were equally surprised and more than thrilled that Telefilm decided to support the submission of the film for Best Picture and other categories at the Academy Awards… My hope is for ‘Funny Boy’ to continue to transcend expectations with its story of love, courage and compassion.”
“Funny Boy” is currently available in Canada on CBC Gem.
Due to the pandemic, Telefilm modified the voting process for Canada’s choice at the 2021 Oscars. Exceptionally this year, the pan-Canadian committee submitted their two choices, and the other film was kept confidential in case of ineligibility. Currently, this second film is under review by the Academy and will be announced shortly.
Film fans will have to wait until Feb. 3 to hear if “Funny Boy” nabs an official nomination. The 2021 Oscars are scheduled for April 25, 2021.