First time feature filmmakers Christopher Renz and Gerard Bush are the creative team behind the new suspense thriller, Antebellum, which stars Janelle Monae. With several social messages about today's racial injustices interwoven into the film, the directors have created a mind-bending story of a successful modern day author who must escape from a 19th-century Southern slave plantation.    

Five Things You Need to Know: 

  1. Both star Janelle Monae and directors Christopher Benz and Gerard Bush wanted to look back on history to shine a light on today's racial injustices. 
  2. Star Janelle Monáe splits her time between being a celebrated R&B artist and a screen actress whose credits include 2016’s Moonlight. She’s since starred in Hidden Figures, Welcome to Marwen, and Harriet, along with lending her voice to Ugly Dolls and Lady and the Tramp.  
  3. Antebellum literally means “before a war,” but the term has been widely associated with the pre-Civil War period in the United States. 
  4. The filmmakers found several things ironic about the timing of the movie's release, saying, "We made the film two years ago and we could have set our watch to what we predicted to this very moment, because so much of people don’t see, cause we are so distracted by technology, so distracted by our daily lives and the intersection of technology, unless we become acutely aware of something outside of our bubble that affects society as a whole, it can fall by the wayside."  
  5. The two directors, Renz and Bush, want a conversation to take place after audiences see the film and believe, "America is still the greatest chance that any of us have. This experiment of democracy if we can get in there and confront the ugly truth of our past and do the hard work to dismantling the scaffolding that supports this level of inequity, I think we have a fighting chance to deal with systemic racism on a whole."