Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s “Funny Boy” has been rejected for Oscar nomination in the best International Feature Film category at the 93rd Academy Awards.
The filmmaker has co-written and co-directed the film that tells the story a gay Tamil boy growing up in Sri Lanka during the ethnic conflict of the 1970s and 1980s.
To be a contender for Oscar in the International Feature Film category, the film must be produced outside the US, with more than 50 percent dialogue in a foreign language.
But according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mehta’s one hour and 49 minutes long film has only 12 minutes and 27 seconds of Tamil or Sinhala dialogue.
In reaction, Mehta said: “Every step of the way of the ‘Funny Boy’ journey, has been an important one for myself and the ‘Funny Boy’ team. The message of the book has always been one of resilience and courage. It seems as if the afterlife of the film follows a similar arc. Each time we reached an impasse, we pushed on leading us to something even better than we could have imagined.
“This is the heartbeat of Funny Boy, reflected through our beloved Arjie ï¿½ a graceful determination to be the very best version of ourselves no matter what the obstacles are; to break down preconceived ideas and to shed light into shadows.”
“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.”
Telefilm Canada, which nominated the film, says ‘Funny Boy’ will now be submitted for consideration in the Best Picture and general entry categories.