‘Selma’ director to speak at Northwestern


Source: Selma Movie on Facebook

Actor David Oyelowo plays Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2014 film “Selma.” The film’s director, Ava DuVernay, will speak at Northwestern on May 18 following a screening of the film.

Mariana Alfaro, Assistant Campus Editor

Ava DuVernay, the first female African-American director to be nominated for a Golden Globe and for the Academy Award for Best Picture, will give a talk May 18 following a screening of her award-winning film “Selma.”

The 2014 film will be presented by A&O Productions, the Multicultural Filmmakers Collective, Inspire Media, the Women’s Center and six Northwestern academic departments, and will be shown at Alice Millar Chapel, where the University’s vigil for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is held every year.

“Selma” depicts the 1965 voting rights campaign King led and the march in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery that highlighted racial injustice in the South. The film garnered four nominations for Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Award nominations, winning Best Original Song at both ceremonies for “Glory” by singer John Legend and rapper Common.

A&O usually has two big speaker events a year, but DuVernay’s visit will be a “special” third speaker event. This will be the largest co-sponsorship A&O has ever been part of, Communication senior Emily Howell, the group’s co-director of marketing and media, said during a press conference.

“For my committee, we’ve had an interest in doing something different this year,” said Communication senior April Quioh, director of the A&O speakers committee. “I already knew (Multicultural Filmmakers) did a spring speaker so we kind of just started a conversation a couple of months ago.”

Communication sophomore Danielle Harris, president of Multicultural Filmmakers, said this event is especially exciting because the group tried to book DuVernay to speak at Northwestern last year, but she was busy filming “Selma.”

Communication senior Ashley Mills, programming chair for Multicultural Filmmakers, said the group was aware of the costs of bringing DuVernay to campus, which is why they joined forces not only with A&O but with the Communication Studies, RTVF, African American Studies, American Studies, Asian American Studies and Latina & Latino Studies departments.

“We really wanted to bring in other groups to assist us with that, but as well we wanted to reach as many communities as possible,” she said.

A&O hosted comedian Nick Offerman and actress Laverne Cox as its other two speakers earlier this year.

Correction: Due to incorrect information from a source, a previous version of this story contained an error in the following sentence: “This will be the first time DuVernay speaks at a college campus, said Communication senior Abiola Aderonmu, A&O’s co-director of marketing and media.” This is not the first time DuVernay has spoken on a college campus.

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