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Saturday April 13, 2024

Why is Malia Obama using new stage name after 'The Heart' release?

"The Heart" is Malia Obama's first short film; written, directed solely by her

By Web Desk
February 21, 2024
Malia Obama gestures during a gathering. — Dia Dupasupil/File
Malia Obama gestures during a gathering. — Dia Dupasupil/File

Barack and Michelle Obama's eldest daughter, Malia, has formally adopted her middle name Ann as her Hollywood career rises, after her most recent short film project, The Heart.

When Malia's pen name—filmmaker Malia Ann—was revealed in the Sundance Institute's "Meet the Artist" spotlight video, fans couldn't help but notice that she was attempting to disassociate herself from her influential parents, who have also started successful careers in entertainment with Higher Ground Productions, according to Eon.

Michelle and Barack did not attend the 2024 Sundance Film Festival earlier this month, when Malia, 25, made her red carpet debut at the premiere of The Heart, despite the fact that the former president and first lady are now movie moguls.

In her Sundance spotlight, Malia characterised her film as "an odd little story, somewhat of fable, about a man grieving the death of his mother after she leaves him an unusual request in her will."

Although Malia was directing the film for the first time, it was her first screenplay credit, having worked as a staff writer on Donald Glover's Amazon Prime series Swarm. The film was produced by Gilga.

"She's a very professional person," Swarm's co-creator Janine Nabers said of the Harvard graduate in a January 2023 Vanity Fair interview. "She's an incredible writer and artist."

Donald mirrored the thoughts as well, praising Malia and pointing out that her well-known parents had no bearing on how she was handled on set.

"I feel like she's just somebody who's gonna have really good things coming soon," he told Vanity Fair in March 2022. "Her writing style is great. We can't be easy on her just because she's the [former] President's daughter."