Khaula Malik is an award-winning Pakistani-American filmmaker and artist. She is a 2022-23 HBO/Gotham Documentary Development Initiative Fellow where she’s developing original ideas under the mentorship of HBO. Her first film How the Air Feels premiered at AFI Docs, won the National Board of Review Student Grant Award, and the Special Jury Award at the Sharjah Film Platform. Her latest film, There Was Nobody Here We Knew, won best short doc at Fayetteville Film Festival and Virginia Film Festival. It was acquired by PBS-REEL SOUTH and is now streaming online. She is currently in post-production on her first feature doc which has been supported by DOCNYC and the Catapult/True False Rough Cut Retreat. She most recently co-produced Apple TV+’s GIRLS STATE, a sequel to the Sundance and Emmy award-winning BOYS STATE. She is a graduate of the MFA program at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, and a program advisor for the True/False Film Festival.
Sydney Alicia Rodriguez
Hailing from the DMV (Washington, D.C. metropolitan area), Sydney Alicia Rodriguez is an Afrolatinx producer and filmmaker interested in getting free by way of resourcing Black and Brown storytellers. After three years of working with BlackStar Film Festival in different capacities including serving as a producer of the first couple seasons of BlackStar Live! (supported by Open Society Foundations), Sydney currently manages artist programs at BlackStar Projects including co-producing four short films each year as part of the Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab. Sydney also produced the short narrative film gales. which premiered at the 2021 BlackStar Film Festival, and went on to play at American Black Film Festival, the 30th Anniversary Pan African Film Festival, and more.