CAS News

CAS Student defines success in film industry

TAMPA, Fla. -- Daniel Mall, 22, is a Trinidad and Tobago born director, cinematographer, and editor who skillfully juggles being a full-time University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences student while running his own film production company.

Since he was a child, Mall said he was fascinated with how movies were made. He could never put down the camera. Eventually, he pursued his passion in film by watching YouTube videos on film editing and learning camera techniques. Mall never went to film school but from his own research, he mastered the skills and started making his own films for fun.

“There’s no complicated reasons why, I just love doing it,” Mall said.

In 2012, Mall started his own production company, Daniel Mall Films, also known as DM Films. DM Films creates short films, commercials and music videos for various clients. Mall is the founding CEO of his company but manages his time effectively for both his business and his studying. He is a senior double majoring in psychology and behavioral health care.

“I make sacrifices because I believe that if you’re passionate about something you should pursue it and no matter what there should be no excuses,” Mall said.

Last year, Mall competed in Campus Moviefest with his short film, “Noisy Silence.” The film focused on the issues in the deaf community. In the film, Jackie Haig is a deaf teenager in high school struggling to coexist in a hearing world. The film was created to spread awareness for the struggles deaf people encounter day to day. After winning in his category for Campus Moviefest, Mall, Haig and her interpreter were invited to the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival in France to screen the film. Mall simply said it was a great experience.

Along with “Noisy Silence,” most of Mall’s short films focus on social justice issues.

“I personally love social issues because it forces people to think. It forces people to see the world from a different perspective,” Mall said.

Mall said he believes in bringing awareness because most people don’t realize these issues are as big as they are. He said he loves being able to emotionally effect people because then he knows they related to his film and understood the issue.

Mall is currently making connections for his film “A Killer Diagnosis” on awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. In his Psychology of Aging class last semester, Mall created the short film as a group presentation project using the group members for the crew and actors. The film was noticed by the National Alzheimer’s Association Tampa Chapter, who contacted Mall. Mall already met with the CEO and board members. They are in the progress of collaboratively deciding if the company will use Mall’s film for promotional awareness. The film was also recognized by Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity, who contacted Mall wanting to use the film for their organization.

Mall currently has several other projects in the works for the coming months. He recently participated in the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa and St. Petersburg. His “Noisy Silence” film was showcased as a part of the film festival’s official selection.

For this year’s Campus Moviefest, Mall plans to make a film about bullying in the LGBT community. During the summer, he also will be creating a documentary with professors at USF and John Hopkins University on the blue light district. The documentary will cover the Suitcase City in Tampa and some of the impoverished areas of Baltimore.

After graduation, Mall plans to run his production company fulltime and continue making commercials, music videos and films.

“Every opportunity I get to make a film or make a difference in society in any way, I take it,” Mall said. “That’s how anyone who is passionate about something should think. There should be no excuses.”


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Student Success    
Author:Jasmin Lankford