Funny Boy by cowriter-director Deepa Mehta will represent Canada in the race for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony, taking place on April 25, 2021.

“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. “Over the last several months, the audiovisual industry has experienced many challenges brought on by the pandemic, and as we continue to navigate in this new reality, let us come together as a country. This year more than ever, we should all rally around the team behind Funny Boy to help them reach the highest peak. The Oscars are an exceptional showcase of the incredible work in our industry, and Telefilm is delighted to partner with these talented filmmakers as we go forward.”

“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,” said Deepa Mehta, cowriter-director of Funny Boy. “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. We thank Telefilm Canada who went the distance for us. CBC and Ontario Creates who gave much needed support and encouragement. And special thanks to dear Shyam Selvadurai for his beautiful novel Funny Boy, and to our brilliant cast and crew. Last but not the least Ava DuVernay and ARRAY for believing in our film. But most of all I would like to thank Canada for standing fast in its embrace of diversity in a world torn by fear of the other.”

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.” – Deepa Mehta, cowriter & director of Funny Boy.

This year more than ever, we should all rally around the team behind Funny Boy to help them reach the highest peak. ” – Christa Dickenson, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. 

Based on the evocative coming-of-age novel by Shyam Selvadurai about growing up gay in Sri Lanka during the deadly Tamil-Sinhalese conflict, the film is co-written by Deepa Mehta and Shyam Selvadurai; produced by David Hamilton and Hussain Amarshi; and stars Brandon Ingram in his feature film debut, Nimmi Harasgama, Ali Kazmi, Agam Darshi, and Arush Nand as “young Arjie.”

Funny Boy will be available to stream on-demand in Canada via CBC Gem following its CBC TV broadcast on December 4. The film will premiere on Netflix outside of Canada on Thursday, December 10.