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Deepa Mehta to shoot adaptation of Shyam Selvadurai's book Funny Boy in February 2019

The Indo-Canadian filmmaker announced and confirmed her new film set in Sri Lanka during her recent visit to the country.

Sonal Pandya

After 1947 Earth (1999) and Midnight's Children (2013), filmmaker Deepa Mehta is once again turning to literature as source material for her next film. She will adapt Shyam Selvadurai's Funny Boy, the 1994 novel by the Canadian writer of Sri Lankan origin.

The novel, which won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, features six coming-of-age tales of a young boy, Arjie, from seven to 14, as he resides in a rich family in Colombo, leading up to the Sinhalese-Tamil tensions during the 1983 riots. The book, and in turn the film, also explores the young boy's sexual identity in Sri Lanka.

Mehta is in the country to announce the longlist of shortlisted books for the inaugural JCB Prize for Literature. The filmmaker, who is no stranger to book adaptations told The Times Of India, "I love adapting books. There are some books which are cinematic and there are some which aren't. When I read a book, I keep visualizing it. Words come to life, you form images and sometimes I can even see who's acting in it."

The film adaptation of Funny Boy, will be funded by Canada's CBC Films and Telefilm Canada, and will begin shooting in Sri Lanka in February 2019. The announcement was made during the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival.

Funny Boy, produced by David Hamilton and Hussain Amarshi, is one of two projects Mehta is said to be involved in. The filmmaker is rumoured to be working on a Netflix original project, starring Huma Qureshi.