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Malia Obama Makes Sundance Debut With Short Film ‘The Heart’/Malia Obama attends ‘The Heart’ screening at Sundance Film Festival 2024 in Park City, Utah/Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Published: 19 January 2024

She’s carving her own lane!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Malia Obama, daughter of forever President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama, is making her Sundance debut. Obama’s short film, The Heart, is being screened at Sundance under the U.S. short fiction films category. Credited as Malia Ann, the burgeoning filmmaker wrote and directed the project, which tells the story of a grieving son whose mother left him an odd request in her will. 

“The film is about lost objects and lonely people and forgiveness and regret, but I also think it works hard to uncover where tenderness and closeness can exist in these things,” Obama said in a Sundance promo. 

Obama previously received writing credits on Donald Glover’s hit show Swarm. Glover previously praised the Harvard grad’s writing style and foretold of great things to come for Obama. 

“She’s really focused, and she’s working really hard. I feel like she’s just somebody who’s gonna have really good things coming soon. Her writing style is great,” Glover told reporters.

The Heart was also screened at Telluride and in the best live-action short category at the Chicago International Film Festival. The film debuted on Wednesday at Sundance and will screen throughout the week. Blumhouse’s Jason Blum also spoke at the Park City, Utah festival, recalling his own journey at Sundance, including one moment of screening the Oscar award-winning film Get Out with Malia in the audience. 

“The first ever screening with a public audience was here at the Library…and people went crazy, and [Barack Obama’s] daughter was in the audience — that was amazing. That’s what started this whole thing.” 

Now Obama is back, this time on the stage, making a name for herself. She participated on her first red carpet and in her Sundance “Meet the Artist” promo, said she hopes The Heart makes people feel a little less lonely. 

“We hope you enjoy the film and it makes you feel a bit less lonely, or at least reminds you not to forget about the people who are,” added Obama.

Check out a sneak peek of The Heart in the clip below. 

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