Director Deepa Mehta’s film Funny Boy will represent Canada at the 93rd Academy Awards as the submission for best international film. 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. The film is co-written by Mehta and Selvadurai.
Set in Sri Lanka during the 1970s and 1980s, the film explores the sexual awakening of its young protagonist Arjie (played by 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. The 93rd Academy Awards are currently set to take place on April 25, 2021. While they were initially set to take place on Feb. 28, they were moved back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.