Chiu Keng Guan

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Chiu Keng Guan
Other names青元; Chiu; Chiu导 ("Chiudao")
Alma materBeijing Film Academy
OccupationFilm director
Years active2010 - present
Notable work
WooHoo! (2010)
Great Day (2011)
The Journey (2014)
Ola Bola (2016)
Think Big Big (2018)

Chiu Keng Guan (/ˌ kɛŋ ɡwʌn/; Chinese: 周青元; pinyin: Zhōu Qīng Yuán) is a Malaysian film director.[1]


Born and raised in Batu Pahat, Johor,[2] Chiu initially studied graphic design and then fine arts,[3][4] and worked on ceramic and sculpture production before joining HVD Film Production, doing quality assurance.[3]

Chiu then attended the Beijing Film Academy[3][4][5][6] - which in recent times produced Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige. Since then, he did TV dramas, commercials, corporate videos, and also worked as an assistant director and cameraman. He was also part of the pioneering group that helped set up 8TV, and freelanced for Astro.[3][4]

Chiu emerged in the local movie scene with Astro and its movie production arm, Astro Shaw, in directing his acclaimed family-oriented Lunar New Year Trilogy of WooHoo! (2010), Great Day (2011) and The Journey (2014), and has been in close working relationship with them since. He is well known to have a preference for amateurs and non-actors, unlike most local commercial filmmakers, who would usually cast professional and famous actors.[3][7] The cast of Woohoo! and Great Day consists mostly of non-actor celebrities from Astro's popular radio and TV channels, while major roles are given to amateurs in The Journey and Ola Bola. Frankie Lee Sai Peng, the lead actor for The Journey who won the 27th Malaysia Film Festival award for Best Actor, is one such example. Lee is the first recipient of Chinese descent and the eldest since its inauguration at 75 years old.[8][9]

Chiu's work is known for its emotional charge, and has earned him numerous critical and commercial success, especially within Malaysia. In addition to breaking box office records in Malaysia,[3][10] he is decorated with notable award wins and nominations, including the Golden Wau Awards[11][12] and the Malaysia Film Festival awards.[8][13]


Year Film Box Office
2010 大日子 WooHoo![14] MYR 4.2 million[3]
2011 天天好天 Great Day[15][16] MYR 6.5 million[3]
2014 一路有你 The Journey[17] MYR 17 million[10][18]
2016 Ola Bola[19][20] MYR 16 million[10][21]
2018 大大哒 Think Big Big[22][23] MYR 2 million


Award Year Category Title Result
Golden Wau Awards 2013[24] Best Movie WooHoo! Nominated
Great Day Nominated
Best Director WooHoo! Nominated
Great Day Won
2015[25] Best Movie The Journey Nominated
Malaysia Film Festival 2015[8][13][26] Box-Office Film Award The Journey Won
Best Non-Malay Language Film Won
Best Cinematography Won
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Best Art Direction Nominated
2016[27][28] Best Film Ola Bola Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Original Story Nominated
Special Jury Award - National Unity Won


  1. ^ "Keng Guan Chiu". IMDb. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  2. ^ Groves, Don (April 6, 2016). "Malaysia's Got Talent". Forbes Asia. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Seto Kit Yan (June 5, 2014). "The RM17mil man: 'The Journey' director Chiu Keng Guan on going the distance". The Star. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "The Journey". Winter Film Awards. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  5. ^ Krich, John. "The Journey to the Top of Malaysia's Box Office". WSJ. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  7. ^ Yeoh, Angelin (January 28, 2016). "Chiu Keng Guan brings raw talent together for OlaBola". The Star. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "MFF27: The Journey wins 4 trophies including Best Director and Best Actor". Astro Awani. September 6, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  9. ^ Erny Suzira (September 7, 2015). "75-year-old Frankie Lee wins Best Actor at FFM 27". Cinema Online. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "'Ola Bola' rakes in RM16 million at local box office". The Malay Mail. March 17, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Seto Kit Yan (October 8, 2013). "Malaysia's very first Chinese-language film awards". The Star. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  12. ^ "Puppy Love wins big at Golden Wau Awards". Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Yeoh, Angelin (September 6, 2015). "Lelaki Harapan Dunia, The Journey win big". The Star. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  14. ^ "大日子 Woohoo! | 电影官方网站". Archived from the original on April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  15. ^ "天天好天 (豆瓣)". Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  16. ^ "天天好天_百度百科". Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  17. ^ "一路有你 (豆瓣)". Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  18. ^ "10 things about: Chiu Keng Guan, director of 'Ola Bola' and 'The Journey'". The Malay Mail. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  19. ^ "You will believe again, says 'Ola Bola' — Lee Yew Meng". Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  20. ^ "OlaBola | Astro Shaw". Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  21. ^ ""Ola Bola", "Polis Evo" lead FFM 28 nominations". Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  22. ^ "'Think Big Big' Is A 'Plate Of Rojak', Says Chiu Keng Guan |". February 13, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  23. ^ "'Think Big Big': Chiu Keng Guan's Latest Film Is Big On Heart |". February 17, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  24. ^ Ma, Kevin (August 8, 2013). "Golden Wau nominations favour Aniu, Chiu, Teh". Film Business Asia. Archived from the original on June 1, 2016.
  25. ^ "2nd Golden Wau Awards - 2015 - Malaysia Chinese Movies". Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  26. ^ Ect, Deric (August 4, 2015). "Here Are All The Nominees For The 27th Festival Filem Malaysia (a.k.a. "Malaysian Oscars")". The Daily Seni. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  27. ^ "Ola Bola scores 14 noms at Malaysia Film Festival -". August 4, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  28. ^ "Making history at this year's Malaysia Film Festival -". September 6, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016.

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