Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing Acquires Highly-Anticipated Dramatic Feature from Oscar Nominee Deepa Mehta

FUNNY BOY from the Best-Selling Novel by Shyam Selvadurai

ARRAY Releasing announces the acquisition of Oscar nominee Deepa Mehta‘s highly-anticipated dramatic feature FUNNY BOY. Widely known for her trilogy films, Fire (1996), Earth (1998) and Water (2005), Mehta’s latest is based on the best-selling Canadian novel by Shyam Selvadurai. Mehta, who co-wrote the screenplay with Selvadurai, teamed with three-time Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore on the score. David Hamilton produced the film, Teresa Font served as editor and Douglas Koch is the cinematographer. ARRAY will release FUNNY BOY in select cities and on Netflix beginning Thursday, December 10.

The announcement was made by ARRAY founder Ava DuVernay.

Shot on location and set in Sri Lanka in the 1970’s and 80’s, FUNNY BOY explores the awakening of sexual identity by a young boy named Arjie (portrayed by Arush Nand and Brandon Ingram). As political tensions escalate to a boiling point between the minority Tamils and the majority Sinhalese, a young boy comes of age in a society and family that doesn’t embrace difference outside of societal norms. The film chronicles Arjie’s struggle to find balance and self-love despite the absence of empathy and understanding.

Deepa Mehta says,

“My mantra as a filmmaker has always been what one of the great filmmakers of all times, Luis Bunuel said: ‘When a film is particular, that’s the very minute it becomes universal.’ FUNNY BOY, set on the island of Sri Lanka in the middle of its long and bloody civil war, is also a film about the power of love. In many ways, FUNNY BOY reflects the times of divisiveness we are living in today, where the call for a just society, a call for humanity is finally being heard,”

“Having ARRAY Releasing by our side feels like FUNNY BOY has found not only a safe home during these tumultuous times but also a home that shimmers with hope for all who ARRAY welcomes in.”

Ava DuVernay and ARRAY President Tilane Jones said,

“Deepa Mehta’s FUNNY BOY builds upon the iconic filmmaker’s provocative canon of work as a film that is beautiful to the eye and emotional for the heart. Her singular vision for adapting this best-selling novel invites film lovers to delve deep into themes of identity, acceptance and family, while she shares the majesty and turmoil of Sri Lanka during this particular time in history.”

“We are honored to share Ms. Mehta’s latest cinematic gem with fans and film lovers and we cherish our time working alongside this exceptionally talented director.”

The acquisition was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein and Lezcano on behalf of ARRAY and Lon J. Hall of Hall Webber LLP on behalf of Ms. Mehta.

FUNNY BOY marks the seventh release of 2020 for ARRAY Releasing, which includes Stephanie Turner’s JUSTINE, Simon Frederick’s THEY’VE GOTTA HAVE US, Numa Perrier’s JEZEBEL, Isabel Sandoval’s LINGUA FRANCA and RESIDUE from Merawi Gerima. Previous releases include Gotham and Spirit Award nominee and triple Tribeca Film Festival winner BURNING CANE from Phillip Youmans; award-winning feature THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN written and directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn; the critically acclaimed directorial debuts of Samuel Bazawule THE BURIAL OF KOJO; and Official Sundance Film Festival Selection MERATA by Hepi Mita.

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