I was on the red carpet at the opening night of the Palm Springs International Festival for the screening of Paramount Pictures' Selma, where I snapped the photo above of the film's star, David Oyelowo.

 

Directed by Ava DuVernay, Selma 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 signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.  The film stars David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey, who also serves as a producer.

Saturday night, Oyelowo received the Festival’s Breakthrough Performance Award, Actor and director DuVernay was honored at Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch brunch.  The film has also received four Golden Globe nominations including Best Picture, Drama, Best Actor, Drama and Best Director. The film will open nationwide on January 16 over Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend and timed to the upcoming 50-year anniversary of the historical voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery.

To find out what other stars are in town and for comprehensive information about the fest, which runs through Monday, January 12, visit www.psfilmfest.org.