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Black business leaders expand campaign of free tickets for students to see 'Selma'

(January 20, 2015) An additional 12 locations have joined the growing movement led by African-American business leaders to raise funds for students across the country to see the Academy Award-nominated film "SELMA," expanding the first-of-its-kind campaign to 25 locations nationwide.


"SELMA" took in $11.5 million over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, slightly more than the $11.3 million from last weekend's box office. To date the film has earned $29.1 million.

Due to the generous contributions by so many of the country's most prominent African-American business leaders, more than 275,000 middle and high school students across the U.S. will experience the critically acclaimed film for free at participating theaters while supplies last.

The new locations joining the movement are Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Central Florida/Orlando, Connecticut, Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Montgomery, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, and St. Louis.

"Paramount Pictures is extremely proud of this film, which is so clearly resonating with audiences young and old," said Megan Colligan, President, Worldwide Distribution and Marketing, Paramount Pictures. "It's a testament to the extraordinary talents of Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo and the entire cast and crew that ‘SELMA' is being celebrated by communities all over the country."

"This was an important opportunity to educate our children about the heroes of the civil rights movement and keep an important legacy intact. I am proud that our community seized the moment," said Fletcher "Flash" Wiley, Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, who helped to organize the efforts in Boston.

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.

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.

The 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.

To help get the word out about the program, tweet using the hashtag #SelmaForStudents.

Directed by DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., "SELMA" is nominated for Academy Awards(R) 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, Path'e, 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 signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.


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