Men of the Year 2015: Liew Seng Tat, Filmmaker
The Human Experience Curator
If he had his way, Liew Seng Tat would feel most comfortable at home, ignoring the world. Unfortunately his passion is movies. Or rather, directing movies. Which means directing people. “That meant I had to force myself to be another person,” he explains. Starting off as a 3D animator, he felt absolutely happy to shutter himself away, with minimal contact with people or sunlight!
Photographs by Vincent Paul Yong/Studio Verve, Outfits by Emporio Armani, Watches by Bell & Ross
“In the long-run, I knew it was unhealthy, I didn’t have too many friends and no one to call if I ever got into trouble,” he laughs. But he enjoyed the movies and telling stories seemed to fill him with the most satisfaction so step-by-step, he trained himself to be more observant and sensitive to his surroundings and the people around him. He’s since gone on to win various international awards for his first feature film back in 2007, and his latest work Men Who Save The World was selected as the Malaysian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. Shot in Kuala Kangsar, his film has been praised for its stunning cinematography and playful discussion on traditionally difficult issues like homosexuality and cross-dressing.
“I had so many insecurities at the beginning. But you know what, to heck with all that. It doesn’t even matter in the end. People are still going to judge you no matter what and you’ll always be stuck between praise and criticism. You have to be ready to receive it all. You have to learn to let go at certain points, and let the work speak for itself.”