A young filmmaker who is receiving international recognition for his directorial skills, Sam Quah’s career has already embraced feature-length and short films, as well as Chinese-language TV series


Sam Quah is a film director who made headlines for his feature film directorial debut Sheep Without a Shepherd, which registered a notable first in China. The film’s box-office receipts not only surpassed the billion yuan mark, but it also became one of China’s 10 highest-grossing films of 2019, creating a watershed moment for Quah who became the first Malaysian filmmaker to achieve the milestone.

The Chinese remake of a 2013 Malayalam-language thriller also received numerous nominations including for Quah, who was shortlisted for Best New Director at the 27th Huading Awards. It went on to win two awards at the 11th Youth Film Handbook Awards for China’s Best Commercial Film of the Year and Best Performance of the Year.

During his fairly short career, Quah has also directed and edited another big award-winner, the short film The Free Man, which won the Best Mini Series/TV Movie, Best Writing, Best Directing and Best Sound at Taiwan’s 2014 Golden Bell Awards. It also won the Jury Award for Best Foreign Short at the 2014 Eugene International Film Festival in Oregon, USA; clinched the Award for Excellence for Short Films at the IndieFEST Film Awards, in California in 2015; and was shortlisted for a Live Action Short Oscar at the 88th Academy Awards.

Coming up next for Quah is the release of the first Chinese-language series on Netflix, Bardo, which he directs and co-wrote. The series chronicles a death-row inmate’s search for redemption and the strange occurrences that befall him after meeting a mysterious fellow inmate.

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Sam Quah hails from Penang, but is currently based in Taiwan.

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