PORTRAIT BY SARA ALVES
Ryan Henry Knight is an award-winning African American filmmaker, writer, producer, and creative director from Alexandria, Virginia. He's known for telling gothic, progressive stories that reflect our social climate. His work "exists somewhere beyond reality," fusing drama, surrealism, and experimentalism. In 2017, Ryan co-founded the independent production company, Director's Company. Under the company, his directed and produced works have been recognized and awarded at festivals across the globe, including the Austin Film Festival, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' qualifying Aesthetica Film Festival, and the Gary International Black Film Festival. Moreover, his work has been featured on MUBI, Bloody-Disgusting Magazine, NoBudge, Free the Work, SHOWstudio, BOOOOOOOM, and Film Shortage, to name a few.
Before graduating high school, Ryan won top prizes at the Golden Script Competition (UK) and New York International Screenplay Awards (USA) with his psychological thriller spec script, And Home We Came, as the yougest writer to receive such accolades. Shortly after, he was offered the opportunity to bring And Home We Came to producers at HBO, but turned it down with hopes of maintaining his vision for the project. That same year, Ryan received the prestigious Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Award for Film and Video. He then moved to Atlanta, GA from his hometown of Lorton, Virginia to continue pursuing film at the Savannah College of Art and Design where he received his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Film and Television.
His accolades have established him as a distinct voice in the world of independent cinema. Acclaimed filmmaker, actor, and film curator Kentucker Audley deemed Ryan a "fiercely ambitious filmmaker and a promising young voice" for his directorial efforts on Ludere (2019) and You Almost Saw Me (2020), which earned him an award for Directing at the Trinity Film Festival in 2020. That same year, Ryan's short experimental film, Run Away, They'll See Us (2020) was nominated for Best Experimental Short Film at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, the largest international film festival for emerging filmmakers. Recently, he’s delved into branded content, working on projects for major brands such as Google, Nike, and Members Only, as well as lending his eye to several award-winning fashion films.
Currently working between Washington DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York, Ryan is making a name for himself as a rising talent in the entertainment industry, gaining the attention of major studios such as Blumhouse, Chernin Entertainment, Legendary Pictures, and Apple. More recently, he’s gained the backing of power players across the entertainment landscape with the development of exciting projects that promise to showcase his unique approach to storytelling.