14 Days 12 Nights to represent Canada as International Oscar pick

The drama from director Jean-Philippe Duval replaces Funny Boy, which will now be submitted for Best Picture and general entry categories for the awards.

1 4 Days 12 Nights will represent Canada in the Best International Feature Film competition at the 93rd Academy Awards.

Unveiled by Telefilm Canada Saturday (Dec. 19), the drama from director Jean-Philippe Duval, writer Marie Vien and producer Antonello Cozzolino takes Funny Boy‘s place.

On Friday (Dec. 18), Telefilm announced that the Sri Lanka-shot-and-set film from director Deepa Mehta and her co-writer Sri Lankan-Canadian author Shyam Selvadurai – which was tapped to represent Canada in October – “does not meet the Academy’s eligibility requirements for the International Feature Film category due to the amount of English dialogue in the film.”

Funny Boy will instead be submitted for consideration for the Academy’s Best Picture and general entry categories, according to Telefilm.

“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 Mehta in a statement issued by Telefilm last week about the news.

“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 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.”

Of note, Telefilm executive director Christa Dickenson also added that the organization was “excited to extend [its] ongoing support for Funny Boy as the journey to the Oscars continue.”

Distributed by Les Films Séville, 14 Days 12 Nights (pictured) follows a woman who embarks a journey to her adopted daughter’s birthplace, Vietnam.

Produced by Quebec’s Attraction Images, the feature stars Anne Dorval, Léanna Chea, François Papineau and Laurence Barrette. Executive producers include Louise Lantagne, Marleen Beaulieu and Richard Speer.

Alongside 14 Days 12 Nights, Côte d’Ivoire-Sénégal-France-Canada production La Nuit des Rois (Night of Kings) from Philippe Lacôte is the Côte d’Ivoire’s submission for this year’s International Feature Film.

The Academy Awards will take place on April 25, 2021.

Image of 14 Days 12 Nights courtesy of Laurent Guérin / Les Films Séville