In 2016, Elliat Graney-Saucke received a Fellowship award to attend Millay Colony for the Arts, an arts residency program located in upstate New York. She recently completed work on a short documentary for the Fly Filmmaking Challenge on King Khazm, a Seattle-based artist, emcee, producer, and community organizer. Khazm was awarded a 2016 Fellowship, which helped fund the production of Diaries of a MAD, an 80-minute interdisciplinary hip-hop theatre show. We asked Elliat to tell us more about her film, The Resilience of King Khazm, which will premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) on May 28 with a follow-up screening on June 6 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.
What inspired you to bring The Resilience of King Khazm to life?
The Resilience of King Khazm is a short documentary that was inspired by the Fly Filmmaking Challenge, where five other filmmakers and I were challenged to make short docs profiling different artists. SIFF & Washington Film Works run this project every year through a now state-wide nomination process. My focus for the film challenge was music, and Khazm, as a big part of the hip-hop scene here, was on the top on my list of people I wanted to do a portrait documentary of.
How did you get to know King Khazm and his work?
I met Khazm by way of my late sister, Rogue Laroc, who was an amazing visual artist involved in the Seattle hip-hop scene. As I’ve been in mourning, being close to other people who also knew and cared for her feels important and I have dedicated the film to her as well.
What do you hope viewers will learn from viewing The Resilience of King Khazm?
Wow, there is so much! Khazm’s story is incredible and spans so many important histories! The film touches on the histories and current successes of the local hip-hop scene via 206 Zulu, the incredible ties to the founding families of hip-hop, the Seattle Black Panther Party, and those who lived through Japanese internment camps in WWII. There are touching stories as well as humor, ultimately lifting up the resilience of those who face great opposition and turn it around into creativity, allowing communities to thrive.
How can we see this film?
The Resilience of King Khazm will screen at SIFF on Monday, May 28, at 3:30 PM and Wednesday, June 6, at 3:30 PM at SIFF Cinema Uptown. It may also be available to view in the future on Alaska Airline’s SIFF channel as well, so keep an eye out!
Any upcoming projects?
I’m very excited to be supporting Jono Vaughen with video documentation of her incredible show Project 42, currently up at the Seattle Art Museum and running through July. Project 42 memorializes the lives of different transgendered women who have been murdered through geographically inspired textile creations. I’m in year 10 of production for my feature documentary Boys on the Inside, about ‘boy’ identity in women’s prisons – with some new exciting evolutions in form! Also, I’m wrapping up the film project Art Heart: Children of Riot Grrrl about coming of age in queercore/riot grrrl in Olympia, Washington.
What’s next for you?
Besides being the active President of Seattle Documentary Association, I’m running Elliat Creative LLC, a video production company focused on documenting legacy with great support from Ventures Nonprofit, who help low-income entrepreneurs to better run their businesses. My summer includes an exciting trip to Philadelphia with the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), our local and the largest national LGBT business chamber, to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) conference with keynote Martha Stewart. Summertime with Martha and the gays? …Yes please!
Six seven-minute documentaries by Washington State filmmakers will be presented at SIFF Cinema Uptown on Monday, May 28 at 3:30 PM and Wednesday, June 6 at 3:30 PM at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Learn about the Fly Filmmaking Challenge and get your tickets here.