Mahaliyah Ayla O (Flagging Credit: Gabby Shepard)
Mahaliyah is an award winning filmmaker from the East Bay Area. She graduated from USC's School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Film & Television. Her narrative fiction short film, MASKS, a devastatingly realist depiction of a young woman’s path to acceptance (both in the eyes of herself and her family), all catalyzed by unflinching trauma. A relentless portrait for 21st century America’s divided times, MASKS boasts an absolutely petrifying midpoint gear-shift that is likely to leave any viewer stunned and at the edge of their seat. With its slow, simmering increase in tension, MASKS marks Mahaliyah as a distinctly perceptive visual stylist. Here's Mahaliyah in her own words about how Masks grapples with mass shootings through a queer Persian lens.
Watch "Masks" here (pw: abc4masks4)! CW: Gun Violence.