Paramount Pictures announced today that it will partner with African-American business leaders in New York City to offer free admission to the Golden Globe®-nominated film “SELMA,” from director Ava DuVernay, to 7th, 8th and 9th grade students in New York City. 

Inspired by the film’s message of resilience and hope and its historical significance, 27 African-American leaders in the New York business community have come together to create a fund that will allow the city’s 7th, 8th and 9th grade students to see “SELMA” for free at participating theaters. The students will provide a student ID or report card at any of the New York City locations for free admittance. The effort will begin at 7:00 p.m. on January 8th and run through January 19th (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) or while tickets last.

Those contributing to the fund are:

Amsale Aberra and Neil Brown, Owners of The Amsale Group

Gerald Adolph, Senior Partner, Booz & Company and Gwen Adolph

Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox and Lloyd Bean

Valentino D. Carlotti, Partner, Goldman Sachs Group

Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express and Kathryn Chenault

Tony Coles, former CEO, Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Robyn Coles

Edith Cooper, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs Group and Roger Taylor

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO, TIAA-CREF and Annette L. Nazareth

Bruce Gordon, Chairman, ADT, former CEO NAACP and Tawana Tibbs

Charles J. Hamilton, Jr., Senior Counsel, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP and Pamela G. Carlton, President, Springboard

Vernon Jordan, Senior Managing Director at Lazard and Ann Dibble Jordan

Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks

Bill Lewis, Co-Chairman of Investment Banking, Lazard and Carol Sutton Lewis

Ed Lewis, founder of Essence Magazine and Carolyn Lewis

Tracy Maitland, CEO and Founder, Advent Capital Management and Kimberly Hatchett

Ray McGuire, Head of Global Banking, Citigroup and Crystal McCrary

Scott Mills, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, Viacom and Iva Mills

Adebayo Ogunlesi, CEO, Global Infrastructure Partners, Lead Director, Goldman Sachs and Dr. Amelia Quist-Ogunlesi

Richard Parsons, Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners and Laura Parsons

Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor, Viacom Director and Karen Phillips

Jonelle Procope, President, Apollo Theater and Fred Terrell, Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, Credit Suisse

Tamara Harris Robinson, CEO, Haramat Advisory Services

Marva Smalls, Executive Vice President, Global Inclusion Strategy, Viacom

Frank Thomas, The Study Group

John Utendahl, Vice Chairman, Deustche Bank Americas

Reginald Van Lee, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen

Ted Wells, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Nina Wells

“Martin Luther King, Jr.’s momentous journey in Alabama is an important piece of American history,” said Bill Lewis, Co-Chairman of Investment Banking, Lazard. “We are passionate about bringing this story to New York City’s students and we encourage business leaders in other cities to organize similar programs so that more students around the country have the chance to see this powerful film about an epic chapter in American history.”

“Paramount is honored to partner with New York City’s deeply esteemed business men and women to give students in New York the opportunity to experience Ava DuVernay’s beautiful and moving masterpiece,” said Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures.

Commented Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the organization that litigated to obtain the right to march in Selma, “We are thankful for the generous support and leadership of the New York business community and Paramount Pictures in helping deliver ‘SELMA’ and Dr. King’s message to our future leaders.”

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation stated “This coordinated effort from the New York business community demonstrates a commitment to education and the children of New York City. ‘SELMA’ is the right catalyst for this prominent group and it’s a model worth building on.”

A growing list of leading New York City institutions are supporting this project by communicating this plan and hosting screenings and discussions, including Harlem Children’s Zone, Abyssinian Baptist Church, Carver Bank, the Apollo Theater, KIPP Schools, Harlem School of the Arts and The New York Public Library.

“We thank the great organizations that quickly agreed to join this effort,” said Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor and Viacom Director. “‘SELMA’ is timely, thought-provoking art about a transformative period in our country and a story that speaks to generations.”

The participating New York City theaters are:

UA Kaufman Astoria Cinemas 14


AMC Bay Plaza Cinema 13


Concourse Plaza Multiplex 10


Alpine Cinemas 8


Bam Harvey Theater


Cobble Hill Cinemas 5


Linden Boulevard Multiplex Cinemas 14


The Pavilion Theater


UA Court Street 12


UA Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14


Williamsburg Cinemas 7


Movieworld Cinemas 7


AMC Fresh Meadows 7

Fresh Meadows

UA Midway Stadium 9

Forest Hills

Regal Atlas Park Stadium 8


Jamaica Multiplex Cinemas 15


AMC Loews 34th Street 14

New York

AMC Loews Kips Bay 15

New York

AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13

New York

AMC Empire 25

New York

AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9

New York

Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas 9

New York

City Cinemas East 86th Street Cinema

New York

Regal Battery Park Stadium 11

New York

Regal Union Square Stadium 14

New York

UA Staten Island Stadium 16

Staten Island

College Point Multiplex Cinemas 12


To reserve 25 or more student tickets during this program, please visit tickets last.

Directed by DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., “SELMA” has been nominated for four Golden Globes: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Song (“Glory” by Common and John Legend). 

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.”

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.

Currently open in select cities, “SELMA” opens in theaters nationwide on January 9th, 2015. To learn more about the film, go to

About Paramount Pictures Corporation 
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.