Houston has joined the massive national campaign by African-American business leaders to raise funds for free student admission to the Academy Award®-nominated and Golden Globe-winning film “SELMA,” expanding the unprecedented movement to a total of 29 locations nationwide.
Following the lead of a team of African-American business leaders in New York and across the U.S., funds have been established that will allow students to see “SELMA” for free at participating theaters while supplies last. To date, more than 300,000 middle and high school students across the U.S. will experience the critically acclaimed film for free.
In Philadelphia, the overwhelming demand for tickets has led organizers to expand the program and add 3,000 more tickets.
“Watching the community rally around ‘Selma’ has been a beautiful experience and this is truly a movement we will build on for years,” said Ed Lewis, founder of Essence Magazine, a contributor to the New York City program.
Anthony W. Hall, III, President, Rio Vista Partners, L.P. is the local business leader who will be leading the efforts in Houston.
“The movie ‘Selma’ offers a rich and vibrant opportunity to bring to life for young students in Houston the struggles and opportunities that Black people in America have been faced with historically,” said Hall. “It hopefully provides them context and, ideally, a sense of pride, recognition and purpose. The movie can connect them to an important time in the civil rights movement and perhaps serve as a framework for their own civic engagement, awareness and activism.”
Mr. Hall is following the lead of those in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Central Florida/Orlando, Chicago, Connecticut, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Montgomery, Nashville, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York City, Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, San Francisco, Sarasota, FL, St. Louis, Washington D.C. and Westchester.
Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, which is distributing “SELMA,” is coordinating the programs with participating theaters in the U.S. For a list of participating theaters in select cities offering free admission to students during this program and for information on group sales, visit www.SelmaMovie.com/studenttickets.
Middle and high school students who present a current student ID or report card at the box office of any participating theater will receive free admission while tickets last.
The nationwide efforts are inspired by the success of the program in New York City, in which 27 African-American business leaders created a fund for 27,000 of the city’s 7th, 8th and 9th grade students to see the film for free. Due to the overwhelming demand, the New York City effort sold out in the very first weekend and was expanded to 75,000 tickets.
To help get the word out about the program, tweet using the hashtag #SelmaForStudents.
“SELMA” is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay’s “SELMA” tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey as “Annie Lee Cooper.”
Directed by DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., “SELMA” is nominated for Academy Awards® for Best Picture and Best Original Song for “Glory” by Common & John Legend. The film earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Song for “Glory” and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.
Paramount Pictures, Pathé, and Harpo Films present “SELMA.” Produced by Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey, the film is executive produced by Brad Pitt, Cameron McCracken, Diarmuid McKeown, Nik Bower, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes and Nan Morales. The film is written by Paul Webb. “SELMA” is directed by Ava DuVernay.
“SELMA” is playing in theaters nationwide. To learn more about the film, go to http://www.selmamovie.com.
Information provide by Sheila Ghobahi with Allied-THA on behalf of Paramount Pictures.