(BPRW) Five New Cities Join the Movement to Bring “SELMA” to Students for
Free, Expanding the Nationwide Effort to 13 Locations
Washington D.C. Are Raising Funds for Free Admission for Students
African-American Leaders in Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans, Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area
(Black PR Wire) -- HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- An additional five cities have joined
the massive national campaign by African-American business leaders to raise funds for free student
admission to the Golden Globe-winning film “SELMA,” expanding the unprecedented movement to a total of
13 cities, nationwide.
Following the lead of a team of African-American business leaders in New York and across the U.S., funds
have been established in Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans, Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area and Washington D.C.
African-American business leaders in these cities – along with organizers in Boston, Nashville, New Jersey,
New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sarasota, FL and Westchester – have created programs that will allow
students in these locations to see “SELMA” for free at participating theaters.
The 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
“The chance to share a film, which has so poignantly captured a pivotal moment in our history, has struck a
deep chord within the African-American business community and resonated so profoundly across the country
that a simple idea has become a national movement,” said Tony Coles, former CEO, Onyx Pharmaceuticals.
“We are gratified that generous donors across the country see the opportunity to make a difference in the lives
of our youth.”
Added Frederick O. Terrell, Vice Chairman, Credit Suisse, “I think the overwhelming response to our
„SELMA‟ initiative across the country has been a reminder to all of us of the power of a simple idea and the
collective power of communities. Buying tickets for our children to see this wonderful film is an opportunity for
greater awareness and education.”
“This initiative is unprecedented in African-American history. Never before has a group of black leaders
donated the funds to enable students across the country to view a film created by a black director for free,” said
Henry Louis Gates, professor of African American Studies, Harvard. “This is a testament to Ava DuVernay and
the cast of „SELMA,‟ and to the leaders of this initiative, Charles Phillips and Bill Lewis.”
In Chicago, the leaders have developed a program for students of After School Matters, a nonprofit organization
that provides out-of-school programming opportunities for Chicago teens. Teens that participate in After School
Matters will be sent an invitation to receive a complimentary ticket to see “SELMA” at one of the participating
theaters. The students will provide their student ID and the After School Matters ticket at participating Chicago
theaters. The After School Matters program in Chicago will begin on Friday, January 16th
In the other cities, 7th, 8th and 9th grade 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.
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.
Business leaders in additional cities are currently organizing commitments from community organizations.
Those cities will be announced Friday, January 16th
The local business leaders who are leading the efforts in the five cities are:
E. Robbie Robinson, Managing Director at BDT & Company and Vice Chair of the Board of After
School Matters, and Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Company and an advisory board
member of After School Matters, in Chicago
“The film „SELMA‟ represents a powerful moment in our nation's history," said Robinson. “It is critical
that our teens appreciate the significance of this moment and its extraordinary impact on the
advancement of civil rights. After School Matters is thrilled to provide our teens the opportunity to see
Former Ambassador Ron Kirk and Paget L. Alves in Dallas
“Thanks to Charles Phillips and Bill Lewis, whose vision and encouragement lead to this momentous
event, students all around the country will have the opportunity to know Dr. King‟s historic journey
towards civil rights,” said Alves.
Roderick West, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Entergy Corporation, in
“New Orleans is proud to be a part of this remarkable movement to share this important and timely piece
of American history,” said West.
Charles Ward, Chief Development Officer, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, in Oakland/San Francisco
“Watching these efforts unfold across America has been an inspiration to our community,” said Ward.
“We are honored to be able to help our students experience such an event.”
Toni Cook Bush, News Corporation, and DeDe Lea, Executive Vice President, Global Government
Relations, Viacom, in Washington D.C.
“It‟s an honor to contribute to such a worthwhile cause,” said Bush. “I am certain that our students in
Washington will find hope and encouragement in Ms. DuVernay‟s film and will leave the theater better
To help get the word out about the program, tweet using the hashtag #SelmaForStudents.
Directed by Ava DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., “SELMA” earned a Golden
Globe Award for Best Song for “Glory” by Common and John Legend, and was nominated for Best Picture,
Best Actor and Best Director.
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.”
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 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
“SELMA” is playing in theaters nationwide. To learn more about the film, go to http://www.selmamovie.com.
About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of
Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and
digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed
entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount
Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also
include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and
Paramount Studio Group.