Set for its debut on Netflix USA, UK, New Zealand and Australia, Ali Kazmi’s Funny Boy is all set to launch on the 10th of December.
The much-anticipated release is an adaptation of Shyam Selvadurai’s Sri Lanka-set coming-of-age novel Funny Boy of the same name; Deepa Mehta is directing.
The film will include performances by a star-studded cast of actors: Ingram, Nimmi Harasgama, Kazmi, Agam Darshi, Seema Biswas, Rehan Mudannayake and Shivantha Wijesinha, as reported by Variety.
The movie is an adaptation of Shyam Selvadurai’s unforgettable novel about a young Tamil boy from a well-to-do family navigating hatred against two facets of his identity: his sexuality and his ethnicity. The story takes place in the days preceding Black July, an anti-Tamil massacre that killed up to 3,000 people, exiled hundreds of thousands more and powered a civil war that claimed just as many souls.
“Coming of age, family, politics, sexuality, love in strange times and circumstances set in the 70s and 80s but even more relevant today,” Kazmi posted on Instagram, as he announced the big news. “Its relevance transcends time, race, religion and cultures. It puts up a mirror to reflect the human condition.”
“It takes a lot of hard work, literal blood sweat and tears to bring a film to life and I’m so proud to be a part of this one’s journey! There’s nothing funny about #FunnyBoy!” he added.
“The other actors are From Srilanka, India, Canada, England and USA! I’m the only Pakistani and that too, a lead in the film playing the Appa – the father of Funny Boy!” he brimmed with pride.
“Lots of hard work, research and physician mental transformations developing the character, Learnt How to speak Sinhalese, Tamil and British/Colombo English Accent! Delved into the history of the country and the people and the 1983 Riots and civil war! Lots of fun but lots of burden on the shoulders to portray the character as realistically and honestly as possible.”
This is the rare occurrence that a story about Black July, Tamil struggle and the queer Tamil experience has been given such a platform. It deserves to be viewed, debated and criticized, especially by their community members who like so many Tamil-Canadians, landed in refugee camps with their children during the events depicted in the film.
Funny Boy reaches select Canadian theatres on November 20 and on CBC Gem on December 4.