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Deepa Mehta’s ‘Funny Boy’ rejected by Oscars

Renowned Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, who submitted her film ‘Funny Boy’ for Best International Film at the 93rd Academy Awards, has had it rejected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS), as it contains too much English dialogue.

Reported on The New Indian Express, ‘Funny Boy’ is an adaptation of Shyam Selvadurai’s 1994 novel of the same title, which 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.

Set in Sri Lanka during the 1970s and 1980s, the original novel is mainly in Tamil and Sinhalese with some English dialogue. The AMPAS state that for a film to be eligible for the International Film category then it cannot contain more than 50 per cent English dialogue.

However, not all is lost, Christa Dickenson, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, has said that they will now push their entry in the general Oscar categories including best film, “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.”

Reacting to the same, Mehta said she was also pleased at the prospect of ‘Funny Boy’ being entered for other categories, “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,” added Mehta.