Oscar 2016: Hang In There Kids is Taiwan’s Oscar Entry, by Woman Director Laha Mebow

Taiwan has selected Hang In There Kids! (aka “Lokah Laqi!”) as its contender in the Foreign-Language Oscar category. The announcement was made by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture.

Directed by Laha Mebow, the film centers on a group of indigenous rural children who discover that their teacher (Albee Huang) has a fantastic singing voice. They decide to travel to Taipei to kickstart the teacher’s music career.

The film played at the Taipei Film Festival earlier this year, winning five awards including best narrative feature, the grand prize and best director. It had it commercial release in Taiwan in March.

Laha Mebow is from one of Taiwan’s officially recognized tribes.

Her first feature, 2011’s “Finding Sayun” was a period drama about a schoolgirl who was killed during Japan’s occupation of the island.