Chiu Keng Guan made headlines in 2014 with his movie The Journey, which became the highest grossing Malaysian film at that time, racking in over RM17 million in ticket sales. After The Journey's glorious success, this Batu Pahat-born director came back with another smash, Ola Bola, which collected over RM16 million at the local box-office.
Having produced two consecutive local smash hits loved by Malaysians, there is no denying the audiences' huge expectations on his next project. The director shared that he will try his best to exceed the crowd's expectation and at the same time, satisfy his own expectation.
"Personally, when I take in new projects, I have two main aims; to explore new audiences, and to try something different. For each movie I produce, I want to be able to attract new audience, while at the same time challenging myself by doing a genre that I have never done before."
Apart from his remarkable directorial talent, Chiu is also famous for casting new talents in his movies. However, the director said that he never thought that he would end up casting completely new talents as his lineup.
"I find keeping the film natural is very important. I choose talents according to the character and the script. In Ola Bola, I needed talents that can play football, so I casted people who can play football even though they do not have any acting experience. They come in and just act as themselves, except that there are cameras around them," he further commented.
"I don't have any formula behind my success, but I like simple stories, with big messages. To me, every time I want to create something, it has to be able to touch me and it has to have its own colours; Malaysian colours. I try my hardest to create characters that are relatable to my audience, their neighbours, and their family members. That way, it is easier to attract the audience and make it relatable," said the director when asked about his secret to producing such successful films.
Talking about his future plans, Chiu mentioned that he has few scripts in hand, with a variety of genres; from action, comedies, romance, etc. While he is still deliberating on which genre to go, he would like to try directing a love story, “in his own way.”
A scene from Ola Bola.