Who knows more about every facet of a woman's fascinating complexity than those whose career it is to portray women and to tell their stories? This year, for our inaugural Woman Of The Year portfolio, we present Malaysian women of film, the screen sirens and storytellers whose movies entertain and inform, provoke and spook, touch and tug at our heartstrings, but also influence and invigorate the Malaysian cinematic landscape and our viewing experience.
Comprising a multigenerational group of artists, we celebrate each woman for her talent and work ethic, her voice and ambition, as well as her compassion and her enigma. From actors just beginning to cut their teeth as leading ladies in film—the likes of fashion darlings Eyka Farhana and Amelia Henderson—to household names and box office draws Scha Alyahya, Sangeeta Krishnasamy and Jasmine Suraya, who continue to grow and challenge themselves as actors with each starring role. Not forgetting the visionaries whose mastery of their craft turn ideas and scripts into engaging stories, such as producer Elise Shick of horror/thriller-inclined Kuman Pictures and on-the-radar newcomer, director Nadiah Hamzah. Then we have the OGs, established names that invite respect and awe and continue to inspire new generations of actors and filmmakers for their repertoire of gutsy, fiery, elegant, vulnerable, comic, romantic, and honest representation of women in Malaysian films: incomparable acting powerhouses Sofia Jane, Vanidah Imran and the icon, the phenomenon, that is Susan Lankester.
Also for this portfolio, BAZAAR wants to honour the myriad of imagemakers whose passions lie in producing stunning fashion images. So we worked with five make-up artists and five hairstylists, led by fashion photographers Chuan Looi, Chee Wei, Bibo Aswan, Ridduan “TTFGA” Ismail and Edmund Lee, who were all tasked to capture portraits of each BAZAAR Woman in their very own aesthetic and visual language. An ambitious artistic collaboration like we’ve not done before, we present to you, BAZAAR Women of the Year 2022.
Conceptualised by ABDUL AZIZ DRAIM. Styled by MUGHNI CHE DIN.
Sofia Jane’s portrayal of Zaleha in the controversial Perempuan, Isteri & … (1993) remains one of the most explosive performances in Malaysian cinema, becoming a cultural touchstone and talking point that encouraged moviemakers and actors alike to take greater risks with regards to a film’s subject matter. An award-winning actress for TV, stage and film, Sofia continues to champion the Malaysian film industry through her words and work, and is set to influence discourse once again with upcoming film Maryam Dari Pagi Ke Malam (2023) where she plays a Malay woman in her 50s who wishes to marry a younger man from Sierra Leone.