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Film Studio Mala Forever Focuses on Queer Female Stories

courtesy Mala Forever

Mala Forever is an all female-led film and digital studio based in Los Angeles and NYC. The award-winning studio develops and produces films, new media, and commissioned work that “centers unheard voices,” as stated on its website.

It continues, “We are redefining the future of filmmaking through equitable production practices, and our growing community-based platform is a cultural hub for the radical femme revolution.”

Mala Forever cofounder, Nina Reyes Rosenberg, a mixed-race first-generation Mexican-American and Jewish woman. She says there was a “very different media environment when we were younger, [in] the ’90s and 2000s.”

courtesy Mala Forever

Mala Forever cofounders Nina Reyes Rosenberg (left) and Jessie Levandov (right) take charge on the set.

“ I think we’ve always known that there was a power in being able to share our stories and our experiences and our strengths and our hopes and our lives through imagery, through story,” Rosenberg says. “For us, that has looked like working in a lot of nonprofit and community-based environments. We’ve both done a lot of youth education, helping young people empower themselves through telling their story through video or through creative expression.”

Mala Forever has already produced some critically-acclaimed and inclusive LGBTQ content—like last year’s Baby, a powerful short film that follows Ali, a queer Dominican teenager from the Bronx, through a random Sunday afternoon. Baby won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short Film at Outfest in 2019.

courtesy Mala Forever

One of Mala Forever's three digital publications, Pulp Dreams.

“The reality is that we’ve been thinking pretty intentionally about what our audience and our community needs in terms of the way that people engage with media,” says Mala Forever’s other cofounder, Jessie Levandov, who is also writer-director of Baby.

“People aren’t just watching long form content,” she adds. “They’re not just going to the movies either—people are on social media all day and on so many different platforms. So we wanted to tap into that space and provide our audience with meaningful, diverse, powerful, quality media in short-form content.... And also we wanted to create a platform to support and uplift the work of artists in our community.”

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