Filmmaker Arielle Knight Celebrates Black Life

Written by on June 16, 2021

If you happen to ask filmmaker Arielle Knight if she thinks the facility of movie is actual, don’t be stunned if she pulls Exhibit A out of her bag of suggestions. Knight says that because of the movie Black Panther, we now have a collective picture of reference.

“After we speak about Pan-Africanism and a Black collective African diasporic collective, now we have Wakanda. That is the work that tales are doing. It is altering the way in which that we will think about ourselves and picture the world,” displays Knight.

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For her movie A Music of Grace, Knight shares the story of 12-year-old composer Grace Moore as she navigates the challenges of right now’s world and makes use of her presents to compose a rare piece of classical music that finally alters her life and that of her mom. Knight’s movie is considered one of 4 chosen to be a part of this yr’s Queen Collective, for which Procter & Gamble has partnered with hip-hop, tv and movie icon Queen Latifah and Tribeca Studios to highlight and promote the work of girls of coloration telling numerous and wealthy tales.

Knight shares that for her subsequent work, she plans to discover generational trauma from a singular perspective. “Typically there may be this actually lovely factor that occurs with trauma, which is that it generates one thing fairly reverse. I hope so as to add to the dialog that battle, ache and trauma will be handed on, however it can be remodeled into one thing fairly sensible and exquisite and really completely different from the origin,” displays Knight.

We spoke to the New York-based filmmaker in regards to the transformative energy of movie and what it means for her to be a part of this yr’s Queen Collective. 

BET.com: As , your movie goes to be featured on BET Her as a part of the channel’s Juneteenth programming. What does having your movie air nationally and supported by the Queen Collective imply to you?

Arielle Knight: I feel it is actually vital that African People on this nation have Juneteenth for ourselves as a celebratory day. A day the place we not solely replicate on the place we have come from, however the place we’re going. I like to see that Juneteenth has develop into this actually joyous day the place folks bear in mind not simply our enslaved previous, however the fantastic thing about blackness, and the distinctiveness of being a Black American particular person. There’s lots of battle and ache tied to that have, however Juneteenth is a chance to say I’ve survived, and we proceed to outlive.

The truth that my movie is taking part in as a part of the Queen Collective is additional particular, as a result of these movies are actually about celebrating Black life in all of its magnificence, complexity and marvel. My movie is about celebrating Black genius and Black motherhood, and I feel it actually ties in properly with the that means of Juneteenth.

BET.com: What compelled you to make this movie?

Arielle Knight: I used to be enthralled by the story of a 12-year-old Black woman from Brooklyn, Grace, composing music for the New York Philharmonic. This [is a] actually particular and exquisite story of a single, Black mom elevating an distinctive little one, and being actually intentional about how she’s elevating her daughter.

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BET.com: Was there a time while you struggled to personal your voice and imaginative and prescient as a filmmaker, and what turned issues round for you?

Arielle Knight: Each day I’ve to get up and inform myself that I am succesful and that I’m worthy to be doing what I am doing. Each single day is a battle towards self-doubt and exterior forces doubting me. I simply should get up and placed on my armor. And my armor is different Black sisters doing this, my mom who I see working arduous, and my communities—that is my armor. It’s like waking up on daily basis and reminding myself that I am not the primary, I am not the final as a result of we should be right here. Simply by being actually beneficiant and saying it is O.Okay. additionally to make errors. It permits me to maintain creating and maintain making an attempt issues and maintain pushing myself to do issues that aren’t all the time comfy to inhabit areas that weren’t created for me.

BET.com: Why do you assume it is so vital to proceed to battle for the best to inform our tales?

Arielle Knight: I feel we underestimate how a lot tales form our world-view and form our sense of empathy our sense of creativeness, and our skill to see ourselves in others. When you’ve got this lack of numerous pictures of individuals of coloration, of girls of coloration, of Black folks on the display screen, what you get is a world the place folks can not think about us in our complexity. And we will not even think about ourselves in our complexity, as a result of the tales which have been informed about us are so restricted. It is super-duper vital that we proceed to make movies that push the boundaries of our creativeness of what Black folks will be and might do.

BET.com: As a member of this yr’s Queen Collective, is there something you’d prefer to say to the icon herself, Queen Latifah?

Arielle Knight: She’s positively an icon, and after I get a chance to fulfill her, in addition to simply being tremendous grateful for this chance that [she’s] created for younger ladies like myself, I additionally simply would specific gratitude to her for being that one that has paved the way in which. It is arduous to be that particular person. She’s not solely paving the way in which however she’s wanting again and opening the door, ensuring that it stays open for the ladies who’re coming behind her. And that is all the things.


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