Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing, The Broad and the American Cinematheque present a special Halloween screening of Bill Gunn’s revolutionary independent horror film, Ganja & Hess (1973). Following the movie, actors David Oyelowo (Golden Globe nominee, Selma) and Rel Howery (Get Out) will join a post-screening conversation with Rolling Stone senior writer and Emmy Award-winning television producer Jamil Smith.
Newly restored by The Museum of Modern Art with support from The Film Foundation, Ganja & Hess flirts with the conventions of blaxploitation and horror. Intended to capitalize on the 1970s market for gothic horror films and blaxploitation, Ganja & Hess is a highly stylized and utterly original treatise on sex, religion and African American identity. Duane Jones (Night of the Living Dead) stars as anthropologist Hess Green, who is stabbed with an ancient ceremonial dagger by his unstable assistant (director Bill Gunn), bestowing upon him the blessing of immortality... and the curse of an unquenchable thirst for blood. When the assistant’s beautiful and outspoken wife, Ganja (Marlene Clark), comes searching for her missing husband, she and Hess form an unexpected partnership. Together, they explore just how much power blood holds. This film is not rated and runs 110 minutes. Costumes are encouraged!
David Oyelowo is a British actor and producer. He received a Golden Globe nomination for his role as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s 2014 biographical drama film, Selma. Oyelowo also played the lead role in A United Kingdom (2016) as well as playing the role of a chess coach in Queen of Katwe (2016). His roles in the horror genre include The Cloverfield Paradox and upcoming Blumhouse thriller, Only You. Recently, Oyelowo’s production company, Yoruba Saxon (founded in 2014), secured an exclusive, first-look deal with MWM Studios to develop both film and television projects. Yoruba Saxon is the company behind such films as A United Kingdom (Fox Searchlight Pathe), Captive (Paramount), Nightingale (HBO) and Five Nights in Main (Filmrise).
Rel Howery is an American actor and comedian best known for his roles as Robert Carmichael in NBC's television comedy series The Carmichael Show (2015–2017) and as TSA officer Rod Williams in the horror film Get Out (2017). He currently stars in a TV series that he created, Rel.
Jamil Smith is a senior writer at Rolling Stone, where he covers national affairs and culture. Throughout his career as a journalist and Emmy Award-winning television producer, he has explored the intersection of politics and identity. His reporting and commentary deal with a range of political and cultural topics, including race, gender, national politics and pop culture. He has been a senior editor at The New Republic, a senior national correspondent at MTV News, and is now a senior writer for Rolling Stone.