The government has nominated Lokah Laqi (“Hang In There, Kids;” 只要我長大), a film about three children growing up in a secluded Aboriginal village, as the nation’s contender for next year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film nomination, the Ministry of Culture said on Thursday.
The film won the Audience Choice award for director Laha Mebow, a member of the Atayal community, at the Taipei Film Festival in July.
The movie tells about three children, all troubled by family issues, who are helped by a teacher who starts an after-school group to help them with their schoolwork. They discover a cassette tape of their teacher singing and are amazed by her voice and decide to take the tape to Taipei.
Upon learning that her film had been selected to represent the nation, the 41-year-old director said she was very honored and hoped “[Taiwan’s] Aborigines could be seen by the whole world — a little dream of mine.”
She also expressed her appreciation to her young performers in the film.
Laha Mebow said that she cherished the recognition Lokah Laqi has received, but “just finishing the film and letting others see it was already gratifying enough.”
Actress Albee Huang (黃小薰), who plays the teacher, said she had hoped to let the world see Taiwan’s Aborigines when working on the film.
The nomination was “one step forward” in achieving that goal, she said, adding that she felt proud and honored about the nomination.
Lokah Laqi is Laha Mebow’s second film.
Her first, Finding Sayun (不一樣的月光), about a beautiful girl named Sayun who fell to her death in a stream while carrying her Japanese teacher’s belongings during World War II, was released in 2011.
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