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Celebrity news: Mehta’s ‘Funny Boy’ picked as Canada’s Oscar contender;former Miss America Cornett dies

Celebrity news: Mehta’s ‘Funny Boy’ picked as Canada’s Oscar contender;former Miss America Cornett dies
Entertainment
Toronto-based director Deepa Mehta’s upcoming drama “Funny Boy” is Canada’s selection in the 2021 Oscars race for best international feature film.

Telefilm Canada says a pan-Canadian committee of approximately 20 voting delegates chose the project, which is based on the bestselling Canadian novel by Shyam Selvadurai. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences must now decide which films will move on to the next round of voting in the category.

Mehta’s film “Water” made it through the multi-step process in 2007, ultimately competing at the Oscars for best foreign language film, the category’s previous name. Last year’s Canadian selection was Montreal writer-director Sophie Deraspe’s francophone refugee drama “Antigone,” which ultimately did not get selected for a nomination.

“Funny Boy” is a coming-of-age story of a young boy growing up gay in Sri Lanka during the deadly Tamil-Sinhalese conflict. The director shot the film in Sri Lanka with a mostly Sri Lankan cast and largely in the Tamil language, but also had some Canadian actors.

Former Miss America Leanza Cornett dead at 49

Leanza Cornett, who was named Miss America 1993, died Wednesday afternoon after being hospitalized with a head injury.

She was 49.

Cornett, born in Virginia but raised in Florida, was named Miss Florida in 1992 before winning the national pageant a year later.

“Leanza had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious. We know she meant so much to so many, including all of you,” the Miss America Organization said in a statement.

“We are devastated by this sudden loss in our Miss America family and we are deeply sorry for her family and close friends for their loss.”
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