“With deep gratitude to the people of Selma, Alabama, we are proud to share this powerful film depicting the historic events that took place there 50 years ago,” said Oprah Winfrey on behalf of the film’s producers. “I hope generations will watch the film and share their stories of remembrance and history together.”
“Selma,” directed by Ava DuVernay, opened Christmas Day and has performed impressively, with $1.2 million at 19 locations in its first week. Paramount will expand the film nationwide on Jan. 9.
“I’m so happy that the movie ‘Selma’ will be shown in Selma when it’s released to the nation,” said George P. Evans, the city’s mayor, in a statement. “I’m so grateful of the fact that Selma has been blessed to have a movie named after it. I’m thankful to the producers, director Ava, and executive producer Paul Garnes for their leadership, and all of the cast for selecting Selma to produce this movie.”
Evans also alluded to the controversy over the film’s historical accuracy with regard to its portrayal of the relationship between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon B. Johnson.
“We must keep in mind that the movie is just that, a movie and not a documentary,” he said. “May God continue to bless Selma.”
David Oyelowo stars as King with Tom Wilkinson as Johnson in the film, set during the voting rights campaign in 1965. Winfrey portrays activist Annie Lee Cooper.