Malia Obama, under the pseudonym “Malia Ann,” began her directorial debut with a short film titled THE HEART. The film is scheduled to screen in ‘Short Film Program 1’ at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, which starts on Friday 19 January 2023.
The movie screened at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival last September, which was followed by the Chicago International Film Festival in October 2023.
She use’s the name “Malia Ann” to be recognized for her own merits, rather than being primarily associated as the daughter of President Barack Obama former U.S. and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Almost a year ago, Donald Glover mentioned in a GQ magazine cover story that his new production company, Gilga, was collaborating with Malia on a short film. Although he did not reveal anything further.
Glover is not credited in any available Sundance material on the film. Nor is he credited on its IMDB page. But THE HEART is likely the short film he referenced in the GQ story.
Described as a darkly comedic absurdist short, THE HEART tells the story of “a lonely man grieving the death of his mother after an argument about groceries and an odd request in her will.”
Tunde Adebimpe, a Nigerian American singer, actor, and visual artist —best known as the lead singer of the New York City-based band TV on the Radio, stars in the film.
Malia in the “Meet the Artist” Sundance-provided clip briefly discusses THE HEART, and mentions that the film deals with “lost objects and lonely people, forgiveness, and regret.”
She hopes that the film resonates with the audience on an emotional level and that it either alleviates loneliness or reminds viewers of the importance of not forgetting about the people in their lives