Redha, a film by newbie director Tunku Mona Riza has a chance to contend at next year’s Oscars, following its selection to represent Malaysia by the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS).

If shortlisted as among the five final nominees, it will compete in the Foreign Language Film category for the 89th Academy Awards.

The feature film is a first by Tunku Mona and centers around the lives of a family with an autistic child.

In reacting to news of the selection, Tunku Mona took to her Facebook page to say that she was inspired to make the film following true life accounts. She said she was also moved after meeting with certain individuals, including a boy with autism, Yong Yek Ming.

This film is the voice of families living with autism, it’s their story.

“I did this film because I was emotionally affected when I heard Bee Yang and arwah Shah’s story. I was moved when I met Yong Yek Ming, Puan Kamariah and other families,” she said in her post today.

Other films previously selected by FINAS for the Oscars were Puteri Gunung Ledang (2005), Bunohan (2013) and Lelaki Harapan Dunia (2015).

The 89th Academy Awards is expected to shortlist a first round of nine finalists among dozens of entries from around the world on 17 January 2017, before announcing the final five nominees on 24 January 2017.

The winner will be announced at the Oscar ceremony on 26 February 2017.