The Moxie Girl: Ang Geck Geck


It takes a whole lot of courage, a great deal of confidence and perhaps a little bit of crazy to pursue your dreams. After all, it is easier to settle with the ordinary, but who said we were normal? We only have one life, and we deserve to give it our best shot.

In this series, Moxie would like to invite you on a journey of growth, empowerment, strength and faith. We want to share the successes of women who are at the pinnacles of their domains. Here, you’ll get a peek into their world, how they have emerged from the odds, creating that little sparkle in their lives. In reading about their stories, we hope that you will be encouraged by them and take your first step towards realising your dreams.

Our next story tells of a passionate film maker, fashion enthusiast and a cheery, outspoken lady, Ang Geck Geck. Incredibly talented and hardworking, she won the Short Fiction Award for her final year project during the 4th Singapore Film Awards. Now, 4 years later, Gecks (as her friends call her) is still laser focused on her pursuing her dreams.

“Like the lizard, Gecko but without the ‘o’” with an introduction like this, we knew this was going to be a fun interview. She is however, nothing like the cold-blooded reptile. Instead, Geck emanates a familiar warmth, like an old friend, inviting us to delve into her world.

At the outset of this shoot, we foolishly thought we could direct the Director. Before we knew it, we were taking instructions from Geck. “This angle is better… I will give you the cue to snap.” But these weren't instructions out of frustration. “For me, it’s always a collaboration with my actors. I respect them as professionals, and they return that respect.” We gladly subject ourselves to her directions.

Words can convey a message but film can deliver emotions. For Geck, film is not just an expression of her feelings, it is a voice for the weak and minority too. “Certain topics are very sensitive, and it is difficult to verbalise the struggles of people. But through film, you can say so much more.”

“..some people have a hard time trying to get out of their darkness, but when they can relate to the films, they don’t feel that lonely.”

 


Master of her craft, Geck handles heart-wrenching stories with incredible delicacy.
In a male-dominated industry, female filmmakers are often unfairly scrutinized for their work. Instead of caving to their expectations, Geck brings a feminine touch to her productions as she stays true to her style. Look for her films online and you will understand why she is touted as the rising star of Asia’s film industry.
 
 

“Film chose me.”

Is this what a true calling sounds like?

Never have we heard someone speak with such conviction.
Discovering your true calling is hard enough, not mentioning the courage to pursue it. Unlike our parents, we are given the freedom to pursue what we want. Work is no longer about sustenance, it is about passion. Freedom of choice is great, but it also comes with an ensuing responsibility. In our conservative society, Geck chose to be the martyr for the weak, voicing out the unspoken, untold, or even taboo topics. She offers them solace by creating films that they can relate to. 
As Geck puts on her statement earrings (to prepare for shoot), she started to reminisce about her hidden obsession towards oversized accessories, “I used to wear the craziest accessories, like oversized spectacles that were larger than my face and chunky earrings! Even though I am not too expressive, I am quite loud when it comes to dressing,” She laughed. By this point of the interview, we were no longer surprised by these little contradictions about Geck. Introverted yet incredibly expressive, petite yet so strong. Geck blurs the lines of traditional descriptors so don’t let her tiny frame fool you. 
 
While speaking about her schooling days, Geck revealed that she actively took part in Aquathlons. We then decided to throw a curveball of a question, “So what are you running from?” To which came an answer that had our hands in our mouths as she deftly replied:

“I am not running away, I am running towards my goal”.

You can add quick-witted to the already long list of descriptors for Geck.
And her goal?

“To become an international film director recognised by the Cannes and ultimately, Oscars.”

With Geck’s panache, work ethics and artistic flair, we know this is not any lofty dream, but a likely outcome. Holding her Oscar dream close to her heart, she chooses to produce work she is truly passionate about, even if it pays poorly. “When I feel strongly for something, the passion is there and you can see from the film, it’ll be very, very good work.”

What about the bread and butter?

Her reply simple and clear, “For me it’s very important (to be passionate about it), filming is not about the bread and butter, I had to survive on $2 a day, or less than that."

"So I’d rather do something that I’m passionate about.”

With that, the main takeaway from our meeting with Geck was - 

It is okay to not know what you want now, but when you do, go for it and do it well.

 


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