Canada & Japan Make International Oscar Submissions

Funny Boy / True Mothers
Funny Boy / True Mothers CBC / Playtime

Canada is sending Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy to this year’s International Oscar race. The film is directed by Deepa Mehta, whose 2005 pic Water was Canada’s submission that year and was Oscar nominated.

Funny Boy, which is in Tamil, English and Sinhalese, depicts a young boy’s sexual awakening in Sri Lanka during the turbulent Tamil-Sinhalese conflict. Ava DuVernay’s Array is releasing the film in North America, with Netflix hosting the international roll out in December.

Also in the International Oscar race, Naomi Kawase will represent Japan for the first time with her drama True Mothers, which has been put forward by the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan. The film was a Cannes Label selection and screened at Toronto and San Sebastian.

Elsewhere, The Estonian Film Institute has sent Veiko Ounpuu’s The Last Ones into the race this year. The film debuted at the Helsinki Film Festival and will have its international premiere in Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival’s Baltic Competition program.

Slovenia has also submitted a film this year, selecting Gregor Božič’s Stories From the Chestnut Woods, which screened at Toronto in 2019.

The deadline for submissions is December 1, with the 2021 Oscars ceremony scheduled to take place on April 25. The shortlist for the International Oscar will be unveiled on February 9 and nominations will be announced March 15.

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