40 under 40 40 under 40


Film Director

Film director Nadiah Hamzah made headlines together with two other Malaysians when her anti-bullying film for Save The Children garnered an award at the Cannes Lion 2019 in France.
Her feature film Motif debuted on the big screen this year to much fanfare, addressing issues such as institutionalised sexism and class divisions in Malaysian society. “I don’t impose any messages onto my filmsbutinorderfor the story to be real and relatable, it cannot run away from current issues. What my audience takes away from the experience is entirely up to them,” says Nadiah who wishes to see more variation in the local film industry.
The former advertising copywriter who cites the late Yasmin Ahmad as her inspiration has also been vocal about female representation in the director’s seat. “I believe the large studios have a role to play here. It makes perfect economic sense too. Half of our audience is female. Yet we don’t see enough effort from these studios to place strong female directors in the directing seat when it comes to big-budget tentpole films. We have quite a number of prolific female directors in the country but they’re just often overlooked.”
Nadiah reveals that her current projects will revolve around valuable lessons she has learnt through marketing Motif – namely ideation and conceptualisation in digital marketing. She will also be working on developing two film projects along with a series catered to the streaming platform.
Nadiah is wearing the HUBLOT Big Bang Steel Blue Diamonds; printed shirt, knitted sleeveless top and printed jacket, all from MICHAEL KORS



Country director, Global School Leaders Malaysia


Founder, Fern Batik


Founder, Refuge for the Refugees


Co-founder, Mentahmatter