"Selma": NYC Schoolkids To See Film, Featurette Shows David Oyelowo's Transformation into MLK

There’s a lot of Selma news to discuss, so let’s just dive right into it.

NYC School children to view Selma: African-American business leaders have partnered together and with Paramount to bring Selma to 7th, 8th and 9th graders in New York City. To watch the film, students have to present a student ID card at any participating theater. The free viewing event runs through Jan. 19 (aka Martin Luther King Day) or while tickets last.

There’s a whole list of business-owners that have come together for this cause. The entire list is as follows:

Amsale Aberra and Neil Brown, Owners of The Amsale Group

Gerald Adolph, Senior Partner, Booz & Company and Gwen Adolph

Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox and Lloyd Bean

Valentino D. Carlotti, Partner, Goldman Sachs Group

Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express and Kathryn Chenault

Tony Coles, former CEO, Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Robyn Coles

Edith Cooper, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs Group and Roger Taylor

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO, TIAA-CREF and Annette L. Nazareth

Bruce Gordon, Chairman, ADT, former CEO NAACP and Tawana Tibbs

Charles J. Hamilton, Jr., Senior Counsel, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP and Pamela G. Carlton, President, Springboard

Vernon Jordan, Senior Managing Director at Lazard and Ann Dibble Jordan

Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks

Bill Lewis, Co-Chairman of Investment Banking, Lazard and Carol Sutton Lewis

Ed Lewis, founder of Essence Magazine and Carolyn Lewis

Tracy Maitland, CEO and Founder, Advent Capital Management and Kimberly Hatchett

Ray McGuire, Head of Global Banking, Citigroup and Crystal McCrary

Scott Mills, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, Viacom and Iva Mills

Adebayo Ogunlesi, CEO, Global Infrastructure Partners, Lead Director, Goldman Sachs and Dr. Amelia Quist-Ogunlesi

Richard Parsons, Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners and Laura Parsons

Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor, Viacom Director and Karen Phillips

Jonelle Procope, President, Apollo Theater and Fred Terrell, Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, Credit Suisse

Tamara Harris Robinson, CEO, Haramat Advisory Services

Marva Smalls, Executive Vice President, Global Inclusion Strategy, Viacom

Frank Thomas, The Study Group

John Utendahl, Vice Chairman, Deustche Bank Americas

Reginald Van Lee, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen

Ted Wells, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Nina Wells

There’s also a growing number of institutions in New York City that are providing support for this initiative by hosting screenings and space for discussions. Such institutions include the Harlem Children’s Zone, Abyssinian Baptist Church, Carver Bank, the Apollo Theater, KIPP Schools, Harlem School of the Arts and The New York Public Library.

Of course, there are the theaters themselves that are also participating, which include:

UA Kaufman Astoria Cinemas 14 Astoria
AMC Bay Plaza Cinema 13 Bronx
Concourse Plaza Multiplex 10 Bronx
Alpine Cinemas 8 Brooklyn
Bam Harvey Theater Brooklyn
Cobble Hill Cinemas 5 Brooklyn
Linden Boulevard Multiplex Cinemas 14 Brooklyn
The Pavilion Theater Brooklyn
UA Court Street 12 Brooklyn
UA Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14 Brooklyn
Williamsburg Cinemas 7 Brooklyn
Movieworld Cinemas 7 Douglaston
AMC Fresh Meadows 7 Fresh Meadows
UA Midway Stadium 9 Forest Hills
Regal Atlas Park Stadium 8 Glendale
Jamaica Multiplex Cinemas 15 Jamaica
AMC Loews 34th Street 14 New York
AMC Loews Kips Bay 15 New York
AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 New York
AMC Empire 25 New York
AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9 New York
Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas 9 New York
City Cinemas East 86th Street Cinema New York
Regal Battery Park Stadium 11 New York
Regal Union Square Stadium 14 New York
UA Staten Island Stadium 16 Staten Island
College Point Multiplex Cinemas 12 Whitestone

Many of those participating in the event have spoken out about their involvement in a collection of statements:

“Martin Luther King, Jr.’s momentous journey in Alabama is an important piece of American history,” said Bill Lewis, Co-Chairman of Investment Banking, Lazard. “We are passionate about bringing this story to New York City’s students and we encourage business leaders in other cities to organize similar programs so that more students around the country have the chance to see this powerful film about an epic chapter in American history.”

“Paramount is honored to partner with New York City’s deeply esteemed business men and women to give students in New York the opportunity to experience Ava DuVernay’s beautiful and moving masterpiece,” said Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures.

Commented Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the organization that litigated to obtain the right to march in Selma, “We are thankful for the generous support and leadership of the New York business community and Paramount Pictures in helping deliver ‘SELMA’ and Dr. King’s message to our future leaders.”

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation stated “This coordinated effort from the New York business community demonstrates a commitment to education and the children of New York City. ‘SELMA’ is the right catalyst for this prominent group and it’s a model worth building on.”

“We thank the great organizations that quickly agreed to join this effort,” said Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor and Viacom Director. “‘SELMA’ is timely, thought-provoking art about a transformative period in our country and a story that speaks to generations.”

Teachers or group leaders: If you want to reserve your class or group (25 or more student tickets), visit www.SelmaMovie.com/nyc.

David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Usually, featurettes aren’t that powerful to me (of course, there are exceptions, like the featurette about Miyavi’s turn as the unhinged Japanese prison camp guard in Unbroken).  The featurette showing David Oyelowo’s amazing performance as Dr. Martin Luther King is a featurette that could stand to be its own special, not just for Oyelowo’s own talent, but to help us examine the King as a man, not just the mythological character he’s been turned into over the years. Take a look at it right here:

If that’s not enough for you, there’s also a new featurette on the making of the video for “Glory,” Common and John Legend’s Golden Globe-nominated original song for the film, which you can watch at trailers.apple.com.

Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay, the first female black director to be nominated for a Golden Globe, will be in theaters this Friday, Jan. 9.

David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in SELMA, from Paramount Pictures, Pathé, and Harpo Films.