Instructor wins Best Indie Feature at Los Angeles Film Awards

Malik Stalbert is a man of many talents. 
 
A computer science and information technology professor at San Bernardino Valley College, Stalbert is also an actor, producer, director, martial arts and tennis instructor, and entrepreneur — he runs a tech business and is building a gaming company. 
 
"In one way or another, I have been teaching most of my life," he said. "Teaching and movie making is about the same thing — to transfer information." 
 
As a child, Stalbert knew he wanted to act, but "found out early that a black actor has an even smaller chance of doing anything in Hollywood," he said. "So, I decided to increase my odds by developing my technical skills and production skills to create my own way into the world of acting." 
 
After starting a production company and appearing in some of his films, Stalbert began booking acting roles for television (Angel, Power Rangers, Discovery Channel's History Martyrs) and movies (The Flintstones). He recently starred in and produced the film Derelict, an action-filled drama about a mysterious entity stealing human souls in Los Angeles. His production partner submitted Derelict to the Los Angeles Film Awards, and in May, the movie won Best Indie Feature. 
 
When he launched his career, "I thought it would all come down to my skills and talents, so I studied and trained to be more than an actor," Stalbert said. "I wanted to be a self-contained production with unsurpassed skills. While this allowed me to make my own path as I acquired acting parts, production jobs, completion of my first musical album, to even starting my first martial arts dojo, I found that without a team, without support from those who believe in the same thing and are willing to sacrifice to achieve it, nothing can be done that will ring through to pushing you to the next level." 
 
Derelict did not have a huge budget or crew, "but between myself and my partner, we created something that beat out other films that did have large budgets and known actors," Stalbert said. "With our teamwork and drive, we made our own way." 
 
Stalbert has no plans to slow down — not only did he recently finish his doctoral studies, he's also working on a patented training device for athletes, a martial arts training series, a 3D video game, and a sci-fi feature-length film called The Minlet.