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Mahalaleel Muhammed-Clinton: Art In The Heart, Producing In The Brain

“I like to say I have paint in my veins and charcoal in my bones.”

By Amber Chavez

Mahalaleel Muhammed-Clinton or as her friends call her Mali, entered OLLU during the fall of 2015, she transferred from Fordham University, and walked through the doors apathetic at first, but soon fell in love. Originally from Los Angeles, California and a dream to go to New York, she happened upon many big changes. Hoping to fulfill her dream she spent a time in New York for college, but decided to continue that adventure at OLLU and it soon became her second home.

“Once I set foot on OLLU’s campus I liked it a lot, because you get the actual campus feel here.”

She knew what she wanted, what her goal was in the end, but like every big picture there was more than what meets the eye. The goal she had in her mind was becoming a movie director.

“I am a mass communication major concentrating in Digital Film Production. I chose it because 4 years ago I thought I wanted to be a director, a movie director.”

Although, there were many clear and concise plans for Mali, a change came and with a surprise realization she embraced it.  She found a new direction in her own movie.

“I realized through series of interesting events that I care too much about maintaining a specific vision…I decided being a producer would be a better fit for me, it let me be apart of the project but still maintain a healthy emotional distance from it.”

The different direction grew into her passion, with hard work and love, yet it was still a challenge. Mali wasn’t too fond of the idea of doing producing work, but later it became her own art.

“Well, during my final film, my senior film, which is called Being Her, I actually ended up doing a lot of producer type duties and I was happiest when I was doing those.”

With her passion, she gets ready to leave OLLU with new friends, and a new dream, she prepares for her coming summer by relaxing a bit and showing others what she loves the most, as well as leaving the school with the proud work she has done through sleepless nights and her own version of relaxation, and with new and excelled skills.

“I suppose my final film [most proud of], a lot of work went into that… a lot of miracles went into that. Art is kind of …like a form a therapy for me. It’s kind of a thing that I do even if I don’t have to. I am a art minor, and I like to think my art skills have grown a lot.”

Mali, an OLLU family member, a women of great art and film finishes her last take of her own movie, and the beginning of a new one. So, here is a farewell to one of OLLU’s beloved students, and hello to a wonderful new adventure.

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