Ava DuVernay and her Selma corps. aren’t letting any Oscar disappointment keep them down. The director and her cast, including stars David Oyelowo and Common, and producers Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner, are heading to the Selma, Alabama setting of their Martin Luther King, Jr. drama Monday to march in tribute for MLK Day.
The day-long celebration will honor King, his historic work in Selma, and its impact on the civil rights movement. Those achievements are chronicled in DuVernay’s critically acclaimed film, which yesterday picked up Best Picture and Best Song (for Common and John Legend’s stirring anthem “Glory”) Oscar nominations.
On the docket are a filmmaker Q&A moderated by Congresswoman Terri Sewell for local high schoolers and teachers, a mayoral address at City Hall, a group prayer led by Rev. Dion Culliver of Tabernacle Baptist Church and Rev. Leodis Strong of Brown AME Chapel, and a dusk march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge – the site of the March 7, 1965 clash known as “Bloody Sunday,” when state troopers violently brutalized civil rights demonstrators in a televised attack that shocked the nation.
DuVernay will also screen Selma for Alabama state officials and her local cast and crew on Monday, the same day Paramount is showing the film for free at Selma’s Walton Theater.
Meanwhile, Paramount’s set another high profile event for Selma: It’s playing the White House tonight in an event hosted by President Obama.