An additional 12 locations have joined the growing movement lead 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.
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.”
The business leaders who are leading the efforts in the new locations are:
• Dr. Meria Carstarphen, Superintendents, Atlanta Public Schools; Dr. Michael Lomax, President & CEO, United Negro College Fund; Hala Moddelmog, President & CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber; and Dr. John Silvanus Wilson, President, Morehouse College, in Atlanta
“This movie is an educational moment for more than 10,000 Atlanta Public Schools students who we are inviting to see this film. I am proud and humbled by the immediate outpouring of support from our Atlanta community who has joined this growing national movement,” said Meria J. Carstarphen, superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools and Selma, Alabama native. “Our Atlanta education partners believe in our students, and I am grateful for the opportunity they are providing our students to see one of the most pivotal moments in American history.”
“‘SELMA’ is such an important film for young people to see now in the wake of Ferguson, Cleveland and New York. The struggle for justice is a long one, and Selma is history that a new generation needs to know more fully,” said Lomax. “So, I felt it was imperative to join with others around the country who were raising funds so middle and high school students can see the film, learn their history and be inspired to make the civil rights and justice lifelong pursuits.”
• Robert F. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, in Austin
“It is of the utmost importance to expose our young people to the courage, compassion and integrity that is brought to life in the film ‘SELMA.’ It illuminates a period of American history that is very relevant today,” said Smith. “Dr. King has been a source of inspiration for me and for many people of all races and ethnicities. I consider this not just an opportunity, but a responsibility, to bring his message and his dream to the students of Austin.”
• Sylvia Brown, Board Member, John Hopkins Healthcare Advisory Board, in Baltimore
“Baltimore is proud to be a part of this wonderful effort. We hope that young audiences find inspiration and encouragement in the film and in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s story,” said Brown.
• Grant Hill, former NBA player; Harold Mills, Chief Executive Officer, ZeroChaos; Clarence Otis, retired Chairman & CEO, Darden Restaurants; and Ron Williams, former Chairman & CEO of Aetna in Central Florida/Orlando
“The story of Dr. King’s historic journey in Alabama is one that students all over the country should know intimately,” said Otis. “It’s an honor to provide the opportunity for students in Central Florida to see Ava DuVernay’s beautiful film.”
• Dr. Laurence C. Morse, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Fairview Capital Partners, Inc., in Connecticut
“I am privileged to have been able to join with an extraordinary group of concerned, civic- minded individuals in the State of Connecticut to provide an opportunity for a number of young people who might not otherwise have been able to do so, to see and experience this deeply moving, engaging film about a critically important period in our nation’s recent history, and in the continuing evolution of our democracy,” said Morse.
• Faye Alexander Nelson, President, DTE Energy Foundation; Tonya Allen, President & CEO, The Skillman Foundation; Lisa Dancsok, Vice President, Quicken Loans; Mariam C. Noland, President, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan; Vivian R. Pickard, President, General Motors Foundation; Laura Trudeau, Managing Director, Detroit, Kresge Foundation; and Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation in Detroit
“Detroit students will have the opportunity to join with students across the country to view ‘SELMA’ thanks to the generosity of a group of national and local foundations and corporations. We are pleased to help coordinate the generous commitments of the DTE Energy Foundation, Ford Foundation, General Motors Foundation, Kresge Foundation, The Skillman Foundation, and Quicken Loans,” said Noland.
• T. Warren Jackson, Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer, DIRECTV, and Debra Martin Chase, CEO, Martin Chase Productions, in Los Angeles
“It’s important that the civil rights struggle depicted in ‘SELMA’ reach as many young people as possible so that the enduring lessons of the civil rights movement can be harnessed to inspire them to transform their lives and communities. We appreciate the support of the California Endowment, and have enlisted the Constitutional Rights Foundation to work with the schools in creating a broader educational program to insure just that,” said Jackson.
“As a filmmaker, I recognize the transformative power of film; that’s why the overwhelming response to the ‘SELMA’ initiative here in Los Angeles and across the nation is so heartening. It’s a reminder of the importance of voting and civics engagement and demonstrates how anything can be accomplished through creativity and collective effort,” said Martin Chase.
• Gayle S. Rose, Chief Executive Officer, Electronic Vaulting Services, in Memphis
“On behalf of former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr., we are thrilled to provide 10,000 7th, 8th and 9th grade Memphis students the gift of this film and what history has to teach us,” said Rose. “We thank Paramount Pictures, Malco Theaters, and many generous donors who made this happen in a matter of days. This is a testament to the charitable nature of our people.”
• Ira D. Hall, resident of Miami Beach, FL, and Dr. Sherrlyn Scott, Supervisor, Department of Social Sciences Miami-Dade County Public Schools, in Miami
“Over 5,500 Miami Dade and Ft. Lauderdale students can now see for free ‘SELMA,’ the movie that so powerfully portrays the courage, tenacity, humanity and moral strength of Alabama citizens, combined with the extraordinary brilliance and moral conviction of key civil rights and national leaders. That unstoppable coalition jointly fought for and won the rights of African Americans to vote! It is wonderful that students today can feel and sense this history so strikingly brought to life in ‘SELMA,’” said Hall.
“We are thankful to our contributors in Miami who quickly organized to support such a worthy endeavor,” said Scott. “Their generosity will make a lasting impact on the students in our community.”
• Alden McDonald, President, Liberty Bank, and Neill Wright, First Tuskegee Bank President, in Montgomery
“This effort is an integral part of our corporate philosophy of linking our heritage to our vision of true equality for all the people we serve,” said McDonald.
“In as much as Montgomery is part of the journey we took as a people to gain voting rights in the 1960s, we have joined with other business leaders and concerned citizens to provide free access to the ‘SELMA’ film for local students. We believe that we continue to make the historical connections for this generation to ‘keep the dream’ of true equality alive and well,” said Wright.
• Dr. Eugene Flood, Jr., EVP and President of Diversified Financial Services, TIAA-CREF, in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill
“We are pleased to support this unprecedented program for North Carolina students to be able to see this remarkable film,” said Flood.
• Rev. Starsky Wilson, President & CEO of the Deaconess Foundation, in St. Louis
“It is important that students are aware of this moment in history and make connections between the struggles of earlier generations and the challenges facing today’s youth,” said Rev. Starsky. “We are grateful to the Ford Foundation and other funders for joining us in this effort. We hope that this film will encourage civic engagement among young people and demonstrate to them that systemic change is possible through cooperative, intentional, and well-planned efforts.”
These African-American business leaders are following the lead of those in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sarasota, FL, Washington D.C. and Westchester.
“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® 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 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.”
“SELMA” is playing in theaters nationwide.
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?
Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!