Malia Obama Is Making Her Sundance Debut

Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Malia Ann, filmmaker, has arrived. On Thursday, Malia Obama, 25, walked the Sundance red carpet, where her first short film, The Heart, is screening. According to the Sundance Institute, The Heart — which she wrote and directed — is about “a lonely man grieving the death of his mother after she leaves him an unusual request in her will.”

In a video shared by Sundance, the former First Daughter, who is credited as “Malia Ann,” says the film is “an odd little story, somewhat of a fable” about “lost objects and lonely people, forgiveness and regret.” She says it “works hard to uncover where tenderness and closeness can exist in these things.” A trailer for the short isn’t available, but reviews are trickling in, with one Letterboxd commenter saying the short “needed a little work, but it has the foundation for something pretty interesting” and another saying it’s “a beautifully gentle story about grief and just the weird way we experience life.”

The former First Daughter isn’t the only Obama working in film these days. In 2018, her parents signed a multiyear production deal with Netflix. But to be fair, Malia was working in the industry before that, interning for HBO’s Girls when she was 17. Since then, she’s worked for the Weinstein Company, with Halle Berry on Extant, and for Donald Glover’s company Gilga. Glover is a producer of The Heart.

The Sundance Festival, which turns 40 this year, runs until January 28.

Malia Obama Is Making Her Sundance Debut