Oprah, Cast of 'Selma' at White House for Film Screening
Oprah Winfrey and rapper Common were among the guests who attended the White House screening of the movie "Selma" on Friday that was hosted by President Obama and his first lady.
Also on the guest list was the film's director Ava DuVernay, actor David Oyelowo who portrays Martin Luther King Jr., and actress Carmen Ejogo who portrays Coretta Scott King in the film.
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Oprah played two roles in the creation of the film. She is both a producer and an actress who plays civil rights activist Annie Lee Cooper.
Representative John Lewis was also invited to the screening. Lewis, who was a leader of a Student Non-Violent Committee, actually helped lead the 'Selma-to-Montgomery' march in 1975.
The march was stopped by state troopers who attacked the demonstrators when they reached the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The event was televised live and was dubbed "Bloody Sunday". It also proved to be a turning point in the approval of the Voting Rights Act.
The screening was announced by the White House a few hours after the Oscar nominations. Selma received two nominations, for best picture and best song, but did not make it in other categories like best actor for David Oyelowo and best director for Ava DuVernay. The snub prompted critics to question the Academy and its decision not to include the film in other categories.
On Friday, Paramount Pictures announced that the cast of the film will be attending a march in Selma, Alabama to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Sunday.