The Blackening

The Blackening


General Admission: $5

Passes Not Accepted

Featuring a post-film panel on Black horror films with UA Africana Studies professor Dr. Tani Sanchez; the YWCA’s Lovely Ganthier; DeAnna Monique Daniels, doctoral candidate in the African American Religion concentration at Rice University; and Dr. Orquidea Morales, assistant professor in the School of Theatre, Film, and Television. Moderated by Victor Bowleg, M.A., J.D., Racial Justice Program Manager at the YWCA of Southern Arizona.

All proceeds from this screening will be donated to Teem AZ, a local nonprofit dedicated to uplifting African American youth to provide the learning experiences necessary for a successful future.

The Blackening centers around a group of Black friends who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer. Forced to play by his rules, the friends soon realize this ain’t no motherfu**in’ game! Directed by Tim Story (Barbershop) from a screenplay and screen story by Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip) & Dewayne Perkins (The Amber Ruffin Show), The Blackening hilariously skewers horror genre tropes and poses the sardonic question: if the entire cast of a horror movie is Black, who dies first?  Starring Grace Byers (Empire), Jermaine Fowler (Sorry to Bother You) and Melvin Gregg (The Way Back).  (Dir. by Tim Story, 2023, USA, 97 mins., Rated R)

Unapologetically Black is a new film and education series co-presented by the YWCA’s Center for Gender & Racial Equity and The Loft Cinema’s Black Experience Film Series with support from the Tucson Black Film Club, The Outlaw Project, UA Africana Studies and the Tucson Bail Fund.

Closed Captions and Audio Descriptions Available.

Panel Member Bios:

DeAnna Monique Daniels

Dr. DeAnna Monique Daniels is an Assistant professor of Africana and Religious Studies and Classics at the University of Arizona. Dr. Daniels earned a PhD in African American Religion concentration at Rice University. DeAnna earned her B.A. in Religious Studies from Alma College in Alma, Michigan. In 2013, she earned a Master of Divinity and, in 2014, a Master of Theology from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. In 2015, she earned a Master of Arts in American Studies with a graduate certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. While studying at Lehigh University, she received a Strohl Grant and Award for Research Excellence in Humanities and
Social Sciences. In 2020, she earned a Master of Arts in Religion from Rice University. DeAnna is the 2022-23 Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) Doctoral Fellow. She also received the 2022 Honorary Dissertation Fellowship from the Louisville Institute. DeAnna’s current research interests include Black religion, the intersections of gender, sexuality, Black speculative fiction and horror, popular and visual culture, and art. She is also interested in critical theory, disability theory, Black studies, and cultural studies.

Dr. Orquidea Morales

Dr. Orquidea Morales is an assistant professor in the School of Theatre, Film, and Television at the University of Arizona. Her work on border violence, Latinx media, and horror has been published in journals such as Film Quarterly and Flow. Her work looks at the intersection of Latinx Studies and Horror Studies and she is currently working on a manuscript that traces the movement of La Llorona in Mexican and U.S. film. Morales also hosts a podcast with Brenda Salguero. In Monstras, Morales and Salguero discuss Latinx and Latin American folklore, legends, true crime, and all things spooky.

Lovely Ganthier

Lovely Ganthier embodies the entrepreneurial qualities of a servant leader. She is motivated by her deep love for God, family, and community. Lovely, graduated college with honors earning an accelerated undergraduate degree in Biology as a Howard Hughes scholar attending Miami Dade College and The University of Miami concurrently.  Lovely also earned a paid internship with the United States Department of Energy working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory based on her previous research projects studying human genetics. There she studied The Fragile Histidine Triad Diadenosine Triphosphatase (FHIT) gene and its role in the regulation of apoptosis and the suppression of tumors.  After completing a rigorous tour schedule presenting this research, she took time off to travel and explore the perspectives of various cultures as a (WWOOF) World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms participant. Life for Lovely took a pivotal turn when she was involved in an accident that caused a life altering traumatic brain injury. The injury led her to discover powerful aspects of her human being and spirit that cannot be explained by the rules of science. Since regaining and continuously improving her vision and other functional limitations that resulted from the injury Lovely has committed her life to God who sustains her. Her personal motto is Psalm 118:17 “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.” Today Lovely is active in the community, serving at the YWCA of Southern Arizona under the mentorship of Senior Accountant & Finance Manager Maricruz Kissinger-Pablovich. She volunteers with and enthusiastically supports IAMYOU360 and other local nonprofit organizations. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Premium member of The National Association of Tax Professionals, the American Association of Notaries, a student member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the League of Women Voters. She worships at Greater Faith Church under the visionary leadership of Apostles Jamie and Pamela Benjamin and is working towards a graduate degree in Business Management and entrepreneurship.

Tani D. Sanchez

Dr. Sanchez is primarily interested in racial representations in the media and in the study of African American history and culture.  She worked for a number of years as an editor, broadcast journalist and as a media information specialist.  She is also the first president of the Tucson Chapter Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (founded by Gloria Smith), an active member of the Tucson Black Film Club and is a member of the Women’s Progressive and Civic Club.  She has served as a State President of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. Dr. Sanchez has a doctorate in Comparative Cultural and Literary studies; her master’s degree focused on visual culture/art history while her undergraduate studies included Radio and Television.   

She has lectured in Tucson and other cities on Black history, racial representations in film, and on African American family history and genealogy.  Her wide-ranging background in broadcast and written journalism as well as in public affairs has included overseas assignments in the U.S. Army and a stint in the Arizona National Guard.   Her academic writings have been published in two anthologies; she has created political videos and has written and edited books and newsletters for community-based associations.  In addition to classes in Africana Studies, Dr. Sanchez has also taught art history and art appreciation courses.

The Moderator: 

Victor Bowleg

Victor Bowleg, M.A., J.D. serves as the moderator. He is the Racial Justice Program Manager at the YWCA of Southern Arizona, a Pima Community College/University of Arizona Adjunct Instructor and President of the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson. He is active in the Tucson theatre community and appeared last season at the Rogue Theater’s in the production of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat. 

1 HR 37 MIN | R

Released 2023
The Blackening Trailer Trailer
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