TORONTO – Taiwan has selected “Ice Poison” as its contender for the foreign-language Academy Awards race.

The film by Taiwan-based Burmese director Midi Z is the story of impoverished Burmese who through miserable circumstances turn to selling and using life destroying drugs.

It premiered in the Panorama section of the Berlin festival in February, and has had an extensive festival career with stops including Tribeca, Moscow, Montreal Durban and la Rochelle. Midi Z won the best directing award at the Taipei festival and “Ice Poison” was named best international feature at the Edinburgh festival.

It was released commercially in Taiwan on July 18 and remains on release. International sales are handled by Flash Forward Entertainment.

Ice Poison” is Midi Z’s third feature after “Return to Burma,” and “Poor Folk”.

Receiving the selection unlocks up to NT$1.5 million ($50,000) of promotional support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture.

Other contenders for the selection had included “KANO,” Busan festival opener “Paradise in Service,” “Anywhere Somewhere Nowhere,” “The Boar King,” “Stray Dogs,” “A Time In Quchi,” “Meeting Dr. Sun,” and “The Rice Bomber.”