Richie Shazam's Directorial Debut Spotlights Her Chosen Family

Richie Shazam's Directorial Debut Spotlights Her Chosen Family

Adding to her ever-growing list of titles (the New York Times called her a "multi-hyphenate Renaissance woman"), Richie Shazam's next act sees her in the role of film director for the first time — and it's arguably her most personal project to-date.

The model-artist-activist-photographer-writer premiered the film at Tribeca Film Fesitval on Thursday night, where she wore the reverse trench dress with metal breastplate from Loewe's Spring 2022 collection.

Savitree, an 8-minute-ish film that chronicles her journey from birth to finding her chosen family, was made possible by Converse, who hosted the screening, discussion and afterparty, as part of their Pride campaign this year.

The film goes deep into the psyche of Shazam as she narrates the defining moments of her life, from being born and raised in Queens, New York to a Guyanese family to her mother's health problems and subsequent death when Shazam was a teen to her fraught relationship with her father to finding escape in the New York subway system.

When finally meets her chosen family — stylist Briana Andalore and model Julia Fox — in Union Square and an after-hours, respectively, she describes being drawn to them right away and seeing each other's pain as they all came from broken homes, too.

"It’s been an extremely cathartic experience," she tells PAPER. "I’ve learned so much about myself as an individual and the beauty of growing up in New York City."

She adds that it was super necessary to tell this story at this moment in her life. "Being able to find my found family has been integral in building my identity and centering around love, acceptance, care and mutual support," she says. "I don’t think I would be here without my found family and I’m super happy that Converse has supported me in bringing my story to the big screen." (Fittingly, Fox interviewed Richie for the post-screening discussion.)

Savitree will be screened at select events throughout Pride month and the rest of the summer before releasing to the public later this year.

Photo via Getty


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Story by Andrew Nguyen / Photography by Diego Villagra Motta / Styling by Angelina Cantú