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 February 24, 2024

Critics attribute Malia Obama's Sundance Film Festival success to nepotism

Critics are accusing Malia Anne Obama, daughter of former President Barack Obama, of benefiting from nepotism for her latest onscreen successOK! Magazine reported. The 25-year-old's short film The Heart was featured at the Sundance Film Festival last month.

The younger Obama made her directorial debut with the 18-minute film starring Tunde Adebimpe and Latonya BorsayTo downplay the influence of her family name, she used only her first and middle name, Malia Anne, in her director and screenwriter credits.

Many are questioning how such a young person pulled off quite an achievement. Malia Obama is a 2021 graduate of Harvard University, where she majored in Visual and Environmental Studies, but she is unusually accomplished.

Critics Weigh In

Some critics slammed Malia Obama for her decision to change her name in an attempt to hide her powerful connections. "Calling yourself ‘Malia Ann’ is not going to avert any Nepo Baby criticisms, Miss Former First Daughter," a post on Letterboxd said.

"Wish this had enough merit to not just be ‘the short directed by one of Obama’s kids’ but this was just sort of mid. I did like some of the cinematography!" another user said.

"I can’t tell if I’m just being critical because Malia Obama wrote and directed this or if it was actually just meh," another post said on the platform. Not all of the feedback was negative, however.

"While initially distressing, this was a really touching film. Several genius subtle editing choices as well," another described Malia Obama's work.

"Watched at Sundance Film Festival. Saw Malia Obama in a Q&A and she explained that she wanted to tell the story of the film as a fable. That grocery monologue in the street was incredible and I loved the lighting, whoever was the gaffer, you did a great job keep it up!" another commended Malia Obama.

Industry Love Her

Malia Obama has been involved in other projects and has received accolades from others in the industry. She lent her writing talent to Amazon Prime's 2021 series Swarm, starring Rory Culkin and Billie Eilish, and made an impression on executive producer Stephen Glover and co-creator Janine Nabers, Newsner reported.

"We can’t be easy on her just because she’s the [former] President’s daughter. Nah, she’s very down-to-earth and cool. So, it’s not a problem at all," Glover said.

"Some of her pitches were wild as hell, and they were just so good and so funny. She’s an incredible writer," Nabers gushed. "She brought a lot to the table… She’s really, really dedicated to her craft," she added.

Malia Obama may be worthy of all the praise heaped on her. However, it is notable that Barack and Michelle Obama recently scored their own critical success in the industry with Leave the World Behind, which they produced as part of their Netflix deal, the New York Times reported.

With her parents politically powerful and well-connected in the entertainment industry, Malia Obama has an undeniable advantage. There are plenty of talented twenty-somethings in the entertainment industry who will never get their big break, and pretending there's no difference is insincere.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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