Young, KL-born cinematographer making waves in international film fests

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 05 Jun 2018

Darius Shu on the set of 'Secret Child', where he serves as the film's director of photography. Photo courtesy of Darius Shu

KUALA LUMPUR: Darius Shu’s work as director of photography for the English film Secret Child, is getting the attention of international film festivals.

The KL-born Shu, who is now based in Britain, was nominated in the Best Cinematography category at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards 2018 and Oniros Film Awards in Italy. The film won Best Drama (Short) at both events.

“Secret Child was a wonderful project as I got to work with a great commercial film crew. I never thought all these awards would start coming in.

“It’s certainly a surprise!” said Shu, who was in Kuala Lumpur for work and to meet up with his family.

Shu added that Secret Child is also vying to compete at next year’s Bafta (British Academy Film Awards), and he will be travelling to more film festivals including in Australia, Canada and Asia.

Ever since he was young, Shu has been interested in all forms of art – be it painting, playing the piano or photography.

After buying his first camera at the age of 18, and discovering a knack for taking portraits of people, he began venturing into fashion photography.

“I got an adrenaline high from making people look good even if they weren’t camera-friendly. I would always get a response, ‘Wow, I never knew I could look like that!’ from the people I have taken photos of.

“That really kept me motivated and (gave me) great satisfaction,” said Shu.

Fast forward a couple of years later, and the 24-year-old is living and working in London.

His cinematography work in the 16-minute English film Secret Child – based on the best-selling book by Gordon Lewis, and starring Fiona Glascott and Austin Taylor – is garnering not only recognition from various international film festivals, but also from film agents in London who want to work with Shu.

When asked how he feels about receiving international recognition for his work, Shu answered: “I feel proud to have people see my hard work and appreciate it.

“It’s a great thing because this is not just a recognition of my work, but for the people and crew who I worked together with as well.

“Having a film shown at prestigious film festivals such as in Los Angeles, Italy and London is a great way to showcase the film to the world. (My aim) is to make films that are better than my last, and I (plan to) keep to that philosophy.”

His work can be seen at

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