Funny Boy, by cowriter-director Deepa Mehta, originally submitted by Canada as the country’s entry for Best International Feature Film at 2021 Oscars, has been rejected because the film does not meet the Academy’s eligibility requirements for the International Feature Film category due to the amount of English dialogue in the film. The Academy mandates that a film cannot contain more than 50% English to be eligible. The film will now be submitted for consideration in the Best Picture and general entry categories for the 93rd Academy Awards®.
“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.
“Every step of the way on 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,” said Deepa Mehta. “This is the heartbeat of Funny Boy, reflected through our beloved Arjie — 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 Featurecategory, 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.”