Edmund Yeo: I am quite a loner
Born 1984 in Singapore, trained as a filmmaker in Australia, and now based in Japan. Edmund is a Malaysian filmmaker who began writing and directing short films in 2008.
KINGYO, his first Japanese-language short, was selected for competition at the 66th Venice International Film Festival. He was the youngest Malaysian filmmaker to ever compete in the prestigious film festival.
Mask 9: Your recent works seem to concern an ‘unseen’, idealized place or person, like the young woman in FLEETING IMAGES, or the husband in LOVE SUICIDES, the wife and goldfish in KINGYO and the Japan in the mind of the female protagonist in INHALATION. Can you explain to us your interest in this ‘other-ness’?
Me: It’s being slightly disenchanted with everyday life, yet refusing to give up on yearning after that is seemingly unattainable. I spent most of the early part of my life chasing after my childhood dreams of becoming a filmmaker.
Then, after I became a filmmaker, I find myself constantly chasing after attaining greatness, or perfection, with my works, to achieve a certain level of acceptance. For most people, achieving success as a Malaysian filmmaker is unattainable, but I refuse to believe that I don’t have a future. Thus I constantly chased after the opportunity to prove, on an international stage, that even I, as a filmmaker from Malaysia, am capable of making decent films. And so, all my life, I am constantly chasing after something seemingly unattainable, yearning and overwhelmed by the unseen. So in some ways, my works have sort of reflected my own attempts to portray these emotions.