Mahalia wanted to work in film the moment she saw her first movie, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. Growing up, she shot thousands of photographs, even developing her own 35mm film in the family bathroom. But the moment she first understood the role of director was when she gained work experience on the set of The Talented Mr. Ripley with director Anthony Minghella. She knew, from that point on, that bringing stories to the screen was something she had to do.
It would take Mahalia several years and a Fine Art Film degree before she applied to film school. As an undergraduate, Mahalia realised that she liked stories which began from a feeling, and at the NFTS she found herself in a world-class school that gave her the time to work with actors and crews that shared her passion.
Mahalia is aware that nobody will tell you that life continues while trying to build a career, and so it’s crucial you find ways to enjoy the journey. Having won a BAFTA for Ellen, her first long-form drama for television, Mahalia is now working towards her debut feature. She hopes to take on a breadth of projects in the future, but notes that stories where the truth isn’t what it appears to be – where characters have secrets – call to her the most.