In this video conversation above, Selma star David Oyelowo and writer-director Ava DuVernay talk about creating a film focused on just one very big episode in Dr. Martin Luther King’s very big life: the march on Selma, AL, 50 years ago.

Oyelowo, nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as King, talks about his “dramatic and spiritual connection” to the script when he first read it. And DuVernay talks about the challenges of carving out a tale that can fit into a film’s two-hour space from the vast canvas of King’s “very episodic” life.

Carmen Ejogo co-stars as Coretta Scott King, whom Oyelowo says embodied the challenges of many African-American women in getting recognized for their contributions to the civil rights movement at a time when it remained quite sexist. The pair were talking to Deadline’s Pete Hammond at our recent Oscar showcase, The Contenders.

Other stars include Tim Roth, Giovanni Ribisi, Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Martin Sheen and Common. Producers on Selma are Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Oprah Winfrey, who also has a role in the film. The film opens in limited release on Christmas Day before going wide in January. Paramount is handling U.S. distribution.

Are you looking forward to the film? Let us know what you think.