Coverage from the UK Premiere of Selma:

Various cast and crew from Selma came to Curzon Mayfair in London this evening for the European premiere of the film. In attendance was lead-actor, David Oyelowo (pictured left), actors Tom Wilkinson and Colman Domingo, as well as director Ava DuVernay - plus other celebrity special guests.

Our Editor-in-Chief, Charlie Green, was at the event to speak to them about the film ahead of its UK release, and the upcoming award season, in which it has been nominated for Best Picture, and Best Original Song awards.

Our full review of the film is linked just below, but in a brief oversight, the film is a true-life chronicle of Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights for Southern Blacks, via a fifty-mile march from the town of Selma to Montgomery (the state capital of Alabama) to protest.

Selma is released in UK cinemas from 6th February 2015.
You can read our ★★★★☆ review of the film by clicking here.


Having faced a few challenges to get this film made - mainly that you were given a $20,000,000 budget, when you should have had $40,000,000 and also that you did not have access to Martin Luther King's speeches... Looking back on it in retrospective; If you had the opportunity to have a bigger budget, and the relevant access. Would you have done it differently?

Ava: Great question! If you would have asked me that just six months ago, I would have told you six thousand things that I needed to make the movie. But, now that it is done, I am more than pleased with what it is and I think that the best creativity happens because of limits, we don't like it sometimes when it is put upon us, but it does help push you into finding different things to tell the story. So I am pleased with it, it is my vision of the film there, it is my final cut and it is exactly what I wanted it to be.

Do you feel that you and David were snubbed by the Academy Awards?

Ava: I mean we were chosen in some categories and we weren't chosen in others, our film was chosen for Best Picture - which is just an astonishing honour, the song - I mean the music was so pivotal to the Civil Rights movement. So our song, our original song, with Common and John Legend was nominated. So those are great gifts and we are very pleased.

There has been a lot of pressure recently with films like American Sniper, and depicted real-life people on screen. Did you feel similar pressure like this from creating Selma?

Ava: You know history is told through everyone's own lens, the way you and I will experience this moment, you will say one thing about what tonight was, I will say another thing about how tonight way - you know. I mean, it is through everyone's own gaze. I think we need to let artists tell the story, I think we need historians tell the story. But also to let the audience find their own story, and not just say that one way is right, and one way is wrong. To really allow all kind of voices to interpret history.

Having worked with David in Middle of Nowhere before, did you find that it helped find your connection of getting the emotion, and drama across in Selma?

Ava: Yes, I have a very close relationship with David, he is like a brother to me, [laughs] a well dress brother tonight too! [Points at David's suave suit, who is standing beside her]. But, no, whenever you are working with an actor, if you have any kind of emotional connection to them, I think that it embeds itself in the image some kind of way. You can tell when someone is having fun in their part, even if it is a dramatic part, you can tell when they are really present, and really there. So that happens with us, and it is great!

Selma UK PremiereIf you could have watched one scene in the movie with Dr. King, just to ask him 'Did I get that right?' What scene would you pick?

David: Oh, wow, that is a good question. I think it is obvious, but it would have to be the speeches, I mean, you know - whenever I watched him give a speech, I think that you can tell he is taken up by something other than himself. He is truly flowing with what I would call 'anointing', and I try to open myself up to be able to do that, so it would be interesting to see what he thinks of those.

Unfortunately it took a long time for you to get this film made, and it has been with you for a while. How long does it take you to typically disengage from a character that you play, and was that length of time any different now playing Martin Luther King?

David: Normally a character can linger for a while, this was such a heavy role to play, to be honest, the minute they said 'It's a wrap' - I was happy to let it go. So yeah, it wasn't too tough for me on this one.


Selma is released in UK cinemas from 6th February 2015.
You can read our ★★★★☆ review of the film by clicking here.

Page Last Updated:
January 28, 2015 7:28 AM
Interviewed by:
Charlie Green

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