Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ava DuVernay|
|Written by||Paul Webb|
|Music by||Jason Moran|
|Edited by||Spencer Averick|
|Box office||$66.8 million|
Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Lewis. The film stars actors David Oyelowo as King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Tim Roth as George Wallace, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, and Common as Bevel.
Selma premiered at the American Film Institute Festival on November 11, 2014, began a limited US release on December 25, and expanded into wide theatrical release on January 9, 2015, two months before the 50th anniversary of the march. The film was re-released on March 20, 2015 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the historical march.
Selma had four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director and Best Actor and won for Best Original Song. It was also nominated for Best Picture and won Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards.
In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) accepts his Nobel Peace Prize. Four black girls walking down stairs in the Birmingham, Alabama 16th Street Baptist Church are killed by a bomb set by the Ku Klux Klan. Annie Lee Cooper attempts to register to vote in Selma, Alabama but is prevented by the white registrar. King meets with Lyndon B. Johnson and asks for federal legislation to allow black citizens to register to vote unencumbered, but the president responds that, although he understands Dr. King's concerns, he has more important projects. King travels to Selma with Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young, James Orange, and Diane Nash. James Bevel greets them, and other SCLC activists appear. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover tells Johnson that King is a problem, and suggests they disrupt his marriage. Coretta Scott King has concerns about her husband's upcoming work in Selma. King calls singer Mahalia Jackson to inspire him with a song.
King, other SCLC leaders, and black Selma residents march to the registration office to register. After a confrontation in front of the courthouse, a shoving match occurs as the police go into the crowd. Cooper fights back, knocking Sheriff Jim Clark to the ground, leading to the arrest of Cooper, King, and others.
Alabama Governor George Wallace speaks out against the movement. Coretta meets with Malcolm X, who says he will drive whites to ally with King by advocating a more extreme position. Wallace and Al Lingo decide to use force at an upcoming night march in Marion, Alabama, using state troopers to assault the marchers. A group of protesters runs into a restaurant to hide, but troopers rush in, beat and shoot Jimmie Lee Jackson. King and Bevel meet with Cager Lee, Jackson's grandfather, at the morgue. King speaks to ask people to continue to fight for their rights. King receives harassing phone calls with a recording of sexual activity implied to be him and another woman leading to an argument with Coretta; she knows it is a fabrication but the strain of constant death threats has taken its toll on her. King is criticized by members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
As the Selma to Montgomery march is about to begin, King talks to Young about canceling it, but Young convinces King to persevere. The marchers, including John Lewis of SNCC, Hosea Williams of SCLC, and Selma activist Amelia Boynton, cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge and approach a line of state troopers who put on gas masks. The troopers order the marchers to turn back, and when the marchers hold their ground, the troopers attack with clubs, horses, tear gas, and other weapons. Lewis and Boynton are among those badly injured. The attack is shown on national television as the wounded are treated at Brown Chapel, the movement's headquarter church.
Movement attorney Fred Gray asks federal Judge Frank Minis Johnson to let the march go forward. President Johnson demands that King and Wallace cease their activities, and sends John Doar to convince King to postpone the next march. White Americans, including Viola Liuzzo and James Reeb, arrive to join the second march. Marchers cross the bridge again and see the state troopers lined up, but the troopers turn aside to let them pass. King, after praying, turns around and leads the group away, and again comes under sharp criticism from SNCC activists. That evening, Reeb is beaten to death by a white mob on a street in Selma.
Judge Johnson allows the march. President Johnson speaks before a Joint Session of Congress to ask for quick passage of a bill to eliminate restrictions on voting, praising the courage of the activists. The march on the highway to Montgomery takes place, and, when the marchers reach Montgomery, King delivers a speech on the steps of the State Capitol.
- David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson
- Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King
- André Holland as Andrew Young
- Tessa Thompson as Diane Nash
- Giovanni Ribisi as Lee C. White
- Lorraine Toussaint as Amelia Boynton Robinson
- Stephan James as John Lewis
- Wendell Pierce as Hosea Williams
- Common as James Bevel
- Alessandro Nivola as John Doar
- Lakeith Stanfield as Jimmie Lee Jackson
- Cuba Gooding Jr. as Fred Gray
- Dylan Baker as J. Edgar Hoover
- Tim Roth as George Wallace
- Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper
- Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Bayard Rustin
- Niecy Nash as Richie Jean Jackson
- Colman Domingo as Ralph Abernathy
- Omar Dorsey as James Orange
- Ledisi Young as Mahalia Jackson
- Trai Byers as James Forman
- Kent Faulcon as Sullivan Jackson
- John Lavelle as Roy Reed
- Henry G. Sanders as Cager Lee
- Jeremy Strong as James Reeb
- Nigel Thatch as Malcolm X
- Tara Ochs as Viola Liuzzo
- Martin Sheen as Frank Minis Johnson
- Michael Shikany as Archbishop Iakovos
- Michael Papajohn as Major John Cloud
- Stephen Root as Al Lingo
- Stan Houston as Sheriff Jim Clark
- E. Roger Mitchell as Frederick D. Reese
On June 18, 2008, Variety reported that screenwriter Paul Webb had written an original story about Martin Luther King Jr. and Lyndon B. Johnson for Celador's Christian Colson, which would be co-produced with Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment. In 2009, Lee Daniels was reportedly in early talks to direct the film, with financing by Pathé. Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner of Plan B joined as co-producers along with participation of Cloud Eight Films. In 2010, reports indicated that The Weinstein Company would join Pathe and Plan B to finance the $22 million film, but by the next month Daniels had signed on with Sony to re-write and direct The Butler. In an interview in August 2010, Daniels said that financing was there for the Selma project, but he had to choose between The Butler and Selma, and chose The Butler.
In July 2013, it was said that Ava DuVernay had signed on to direct the film for Pathé UK and Plan B, and that she was revising the script with the original screenwriter, Paul Webb. DuVernay estimated that she re-wrote 90 percent of Webb's original script. Those revisions included rewriting King's speeches, because, in 2009, King's estate licensed them to DreamWorks and Warner Bros. for an untitled project to be produced by Steven Spielberg. Subsequent negotiations between those companies and Selma's producers did not lead to an agreement. DuVernay drafted alternative speeches that evoke the historic ones without violating the copyright. She recalled spending hours listening to King's words while hiking the canyons of Los Angeles. While she did not think she would "get anywhere close to just the beauty and that nuance of his speech patterns", she did identify some of King's basic structure, such as a tendency to speak in triplets (saying one thing in three different ways). In early 2014, Oprah Winfrey came on board as a producer along with Pitt, and by February 25 Paramount Pictures was in final negotiations for the US and Canadian distribution rights. On April 4, 2014, it was announced that Bradford Young would be the director of photography of the film.
In 2010, Daniels (who was the attached director at the time) confirmed that the lead role of King would be played by British actor David Oyelowo. King was one of four main roles played by British actors (the others roles being those of King's wife, President Johnson, and Alabama Governor Wallace). Actors who had confirmed in 2010 but who did not appear in the 2014 production include Robert De Niro, Hugh Jackman, Cedric the Entertainer, Lenny Kravitz, and Liam Neeson.
On March 26, 2014, British actor Tom Wilkinson was added to the cast to play US President Lyndon B. Johnson. On April 7, it was announced that British actress Carmen Ejogo would play Dr. King's wife, Coretta Scott King. On April 15, actor and rapper Lakeith Stanfield had reportedly joined the cast to play civil rights protester Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was shot and killed on a nighttime march and whose death led James Bevel to initiate the Selma to Montgomery marches. On April 22, Lorraine Toussaint joined the cast to portray Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was very active in the Selma movement before SCLC arrived and was the first African-American woman in Alabama to run for Congress. On April 25, it was announced that R&B singer Ledisi had been added to the cast to play Mahalia Jackson, a singer and friend of King. On May 7, Andre Holland joined the cast to play politician and civil rights activist Andrew Young. On May 8, Tessa Thompson was cast to play the role of Diane Nash, a civil rights activist and founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. On May 9, Deadline confirmed the role of rapper and actor Common as James Bevel, the Director of Direct Action and Director of Nonviolent Education of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. On May 16, Trai Byers was added to the cast to play James Forman, a civil rights leader active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. And on June 20, Deadline cited the role of Colman Domingo as SCLC activist Ralph Abernathy.
On May 28, Stephan James was confirmed portraying the role of SNCC activist John Lewis in the film. On May 29, Wendell Pierce joined the film to play civil rights leader Hosea Williams. On May 30, Cuba Gooding Jr. was set to play civil rights attorney and activist Fred Gray. On June 3, British actor Tim Roth signed on to play Alabama governor George Wallace. On June 4, Niecy Nash joined the cast to play Richie Jean Jackson, wife of Dr. Sullivan Jackson played by Kent Faulcon, while John Lavelle joined to play Roy Reed, a reporter covering the march for The New York Times. On June 10, it was announced that the film's producer, Oprah Winfrey, would also portray Annie Lee Cooper, a 54-year-old woman who tried to register to vote and was denied by Sheriff Clark—whom she then punched in the jaw and knocked down. Jeremy Strong joined the cast to play James Reeb, a white Unitarian Universalist minister from Boston and murdered civil rights activist. On June 12, it was reported that Giovanni Ribisi joined the cast to play Lee C. White, an adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson on strategies regarding the Civil Rights Movement. Alessandro Nivola also joined to play John Doar, a civil rights activist and attorney general for civil rights for the Department of Justice in the 1960s. Dylan Baker was added to the cast to play FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover , who carried out extensive investigations of King and his associates, on July 17.
Principal photography began May 20, 2014, around Atlanta, Georgia. Filming took place around Marietta Square and Rockdale County Courthouse in Conyers. The Conyers scene involved a portrayal of federal judge Frank Minis Johnson, who ruled that the third and final march could go forward. In Newton County, Georgia, filming took place at Flat Road, Airport Road, Gregory Road, Conyers, Brown, Ivy and Emory Streets, exteriors on Lee Street, outside shots of the old Newton County Courthouse, also shots of the Covington Square, and an interior night shoot at the Townhouse Café on Washington St. In Alabama, scenes were shot in Selma, centering on the Bloody Sunday march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and at Montgomery, Alabama, where, in 1965, King led civil rights demonstrators down Dexter Avenue toward the Alabama State Capitol at the conclusion of the third march from Selma.
Jason Moran composed the music for the film, marking his debut in the field. Common (who plays James Bevel) and John Legend released the accompanying track "Glory" in December 2014, ahead of the film's theatrical release. A protest anthem, "Glory" refers to the 2014 Ferguson protests and earned both the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Selma premiered in Grauman's Egyptian Theatre at AFI Fest on November 11, 2014, in Los Angeles for which it received a standing ovation. The film opened in limited release in the United States on December 25, 2014, including Los Angeles, New York City, and Atlanta, before its wide opening on January 9, 2015.
The film was screened in the Berlinale Special Galas section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2015. It was released by Pathé February 6, 2015 in the United Kingdom. Paramount Pictures gave the film a limited re-release in the US on March 20, 2015 to honor the march's 50th anniversary. Selma was released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 5, 2015.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 99% based on 289 reviews, with an average rating of 8.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Fueled by a gripping performance from David Oyelowo, Selma draws inspiration and dramatic power from the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr. -- but doesn't ignore how far we remain from the ideals his work embodied." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 88 out of 100, based on 51 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". According to CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a rare grade of "A+" on an A+ to F scale.
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times praised the film as "an important history lesson that never feels like a lecture. Once school is back in session, every junior high school class in America should take a field trip to see this movie." Joe Morgenstern, writing for The Wall Street Journal, wrote: "At its best, Ava DuVernay's biographical film honors Dr. King's legacy by dramatizing the racist brutality that spurred him and his colleagues to action." A. O. Scott of The New York Times praised the acting, directing, writing, and cinematography, and wrote: "Even if you think you know what's coming, Selma hums with suspense and surprise. Packed with incident and overflowing with fascinating characters, it is a triumph of efficient, emphatic cinematic storytelling."
Rene Rodriguez, writing in the Miami Herald, commented that
Unlike most biopics about heroic men who shaped our history or helped bring about change (such as 2013's Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom or The Butler), Selma doesn't feel like freeze-dried hagiography.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote: "DuVernay's look at Martin Luther King's 1965 voting-rights march against racial injustice stings with relevance to the here and now. Oyelowo's stirring, soulful performance as King deserves superlatives." David Denby, writing for The New Yorker, wrote: "This is cinema, more rhetorical, spectacular, and stirring than cable-TV drama." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post gave the film four out of five stars, and wrote: "With Selma, director Ava DuVernay has created a stirring, often thrilling, uncannily timely drama that works on several levels at once ... she presents [Martin Luther King, Jr.] as a dynamic figure of human-scale contradictions, flaws and supremely shrewd political skills."
Praise was not unanimous. Glen Ford, editor of Black Agenda Report, criticized the film as a product of the "conservative Black political worldview" of producer and star Oprah Winfrey, writing that it "insults Black SNCC civil rights heroes" but protects "the white, rich Kennedys". Writing about why Selma was not nominated for more Academy Awards, Adolph Reed Jr., political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, opined that "now it's the black (haute) bourgeoisie that suffers injustice on behalf of the black masses."
Selma was ranked 1 by WhatFilmy in their list of 15 Best Political Drama Movies.
The film won and was nominated for several awards in 2014–15. In addition, Selma was listed on many critics' top ten lists.
- 1st – Sasha Stone, Awards Daily (tied with Boyhood and Gone Girl)
- 1st – James Rocchi, TheWrap
- 1st – Adam Chitwood, Collider
- 2nd – Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
- 2nd – Lisa Kennedy, The Denver Post
- 2nd – Wesley Morris, Grantland
- 2nd – David Edelstein, New York
- 3rd – Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press
- 3rd – Lou Lumenick, New York Post
- 3rd – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
- 3rd – William Bibbiani, CraveOnline
- 3rd – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
- 3rd – Gregory Ellwood, HitFix
- 4th – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
- 4th – Owen Gleiberman, BBC
- 4th – Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times (tied with The Imitation Game)
- 4th – Drew McWeeny, HitFix
- 4th – Inkoo Kang, TheWrap
- 5th – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
- 5th – A. O. Scott, The New York Times
- 5th – Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
- 5th – William Gross, Austin Chronicle
- 6th – Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast
- 6th – Bob Mondello, NPR
- 6th – Glenn Kenny, RogerEbert.com
- 6th – Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
- 7th – Rafer Guzmán, Newsday
- 7th – Anne Thompson, Indiewire
- 7th – Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle
- 7th – People
- 7th – Erik Davis, Movies.com
- 7th – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
- 8th – Leba Hertz, San Francisco Chronicle
- 8th – Tasha Robinson, The Dissolve
- 8th – Justin Chang, Variety
- 9th – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
- 9th – Scott Foundas, Variety
- 10th – Alison Willmore, BuzzFeed
- 10th – Tom Brook, BBC
- 10th – Alonso Duralde, TheWrap
- Top 10 (ranked alphabetically) – David Denby, The New Yorker
- Top 10 (ranked alphabetically) – Claudia Puig, USA Today
- Top 10 (ranked alphabetically) – Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Top 10 (ranked alphabetically) – Carrie Rickey, CarrieRickey.com
- Best of 2014 (listed alphabetically, not ranked) – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
- Best of 2014 (listed alphabetically, not ranked) – Dana Stevens, Slate
The historical accuracy of Selma's story has been the subject of controversy about the degree to which artistic license should be used in historical fiction. The film was criticized by some for its omission of various individuals and groups historically associated with the Selma marches, while others challenged how particular historical figures in the script were represented.
Most controversy in the media centered on the film's portrayal of President Johnson, and his relationship with King. To people such as LBJ Presidential Library director Mark Updegrove and Joseph A. Califano Jr., Johnson was seen as a champion of civil rights legislation and a proactive partner of King, and they accused the film of falsely depicting Johnson as a reluctant, obstructionist political actor who had the FBI monitor and harass King. Having served as Johnson's top domestic policy assistant (including on issues of civil rights) and as U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Califano questioned whether the writer and director felt "free to fill the screen with falsehoods, immune from any responsibility to the dead, just because they thought it made for a better story". Historian David E. Kaiser complains that the film's depiction of Johnson as obstructing Dr. King's civil rights efforts—when, in fact, he helped get important legislation passed—advances a false narrative that American whites are "hopelessly infected by racism and that black people could and should depend only on themselves".
Andrew Young—SCLC activist and official, and later U.S. congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, and mayor of Atlanta—told The Washington Post that the depiction of the relationship between Johnson and King "was the only thing I would question in the movie. Everything else, they got 100 percent right". According to Young, the two were always mutually respectful, and King respected Johnson's political problems. On television, Young pointed out that it was US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy who had signed the order that allowed the FBI to monitor King and other SCLC members and that it happened before Johnson took office.
Some Jews who marched with King at Selma wrote that the film omits any mention of the Jews who contributed significantly to the civil rights movement, “airbrushing” Jews out of the film, particularly Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who appeared in news photos at the front of the march with King.
Director DuVernay and US Representative John Lewis, who is portrayed in the film marching with King during the civil rights movement, responded separately that the film Selma is a work of art about the people of Selma, not a documentary. DuVernay said in an interview that she did not see herself as "a custodian of anyone's legacy". In response to criticisms that she rewrote history to portray her own agenda, DuVernay said that the movie is "not a documentary. I'm not a historian. I'm a storyteller." Lewis wrote in an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times: "We do not demand completeness of other historical dramas, so why is it required of this film?"
- "Selma". American Film Institute. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
- "SELMA (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- "Selma (2014)". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- "Selma (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
- "James L. Bevel The Strategist of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement" by Randy Kryn, a paper in David Garrow's 1989 book We Shall Overcome, Volume II, Carlson Publishing Company.
- Randy Kryn, "Movement Revision Research Summary Regarding James Bevel", published by Middlebury College, October 2005.
- "Golden Globe: 'Birdman,' 'Boyhood' and 'Imitation Game' Top Nominations". Variety. December 11, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- Kit, Borys. "Lee Daniels' 'Selma' finds its King". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Kit, Borys (March 26, 2014). "Mlk Drama 'Selma' Casting Its President Johnson". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Ford, Rebecca; Kit, Borys (April 7, 2014). "Mlk Biopic 'Selma' Casts Coretta Scott King". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Kit, Borys (May 7, 2014). "'42' Actor Joins Martin Luther King Drama 'Selma'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- Greeves, Natasha (May 8, 2014). "Andre Holland, Tessa Thompson Join Cast Of Ava DuVernay's 'Selma' Playing Andrew Young & Diane Nash". indiewire.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- Kroll, Justin (June 12, 2014). "Giovanni Ribisi to Play Presidential Adviser Lee C. White in 'Selma' (Exclusi)". Variety. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
- A. Obenson, Tambay (April 22, 2014). "It's A 'Middle of Nowhere' Reunion! Lorraine Toussaint Will Play Amelia Boynton In Ava DuVernay's 'Selma'". indiewire.com. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Sneider, Jeff (May 28, 2014). "'Star Wars' Hero John Boyega to Be Replaced by 'Selma' Actor in Jesse Owens Biopic". thewrap.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- Ford, Rebecca (May 29, 2014). "'The Wire' Star Wendell Pierce Joins Mlk Film 'Selma'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (May 9, 2014). "Common Is James Bevel, Andre Holland Is Andrew Young In Ava DuVernay's Mlk Tale 'Selma'". deadline.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- Kit, Borys (June 12, 2014). "Alessandro Nivola Joins Cast of Civil Rights Drama 'Selma'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- Sneider, Jeff (April 15, 2014). "'Short Term 12' Star Lakeith Stanfield Joins Ava DuVernay's Mlk Movie 'Selma'". thewrap.com. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- "Cuba Gooding Jr Boards MLK Pic 'Selma'". deadline.com. May 30, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
- Yamato, Jen (June 17, 2014). "Dylan Baker Set For J Edgar Hoover Role In MLK Pic 'Selma'". deadline.com. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (June 3, 2014). "Tim Roth To Play Alabama Governor George Wallace In MLK Pic 'Selma'". deadline.com. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Sneider, Jeff (June 10, 2014). "Oprah Winfrey to Play Civil Rights Protester Annie Lee Cooper in MLK Movie 'Selma'". thewrap.com. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- A. Obenson, Tambay (June 4, 2014). "Niecy Nash Signs Up To Play Richie Jean Jackson In Ava DuVernay's 'Selma'". indiewire.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- Team, Deadline (June 20, 2014). "Paramount Dates MLK Jr. Pic 'Selma' For Christmas 2014". deadline.com. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
- Hobdy, Dominique (April 25, 2014). "Ledisi to Play Mahalia Jackson in MLK Biopic, 'Selma'". essence.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- Kroll, Justin (May 16, 2014). "Trai Byers Joins the Cast of 'Selma'". Variety. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- "John Lavelle joins 'Selma'". deadline.com. June 4, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- Yamato, Jen (June 10, 2014). "Jeremy Strong Joins 'Selma,' 'Black Mass,' 'Time Out Of Mind'". deadline.com. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Jim Cook, "Enterprise actor stars with Oprah, Martin Sheen in 'Selma'", Dothan Eagle, August 29, 2014.
- Dawtrey, Adam (June 18, 2008). "Screenwriting is the third career for Paul Webb". Variety. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Jaafar, Ali (November 17, 2009). "Lee Daniels on march to 'Selma'". Variety. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Sergio (May 4, 2010). "Lee Daniels' Selma slated for fall shoot". shadowandact.com. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Fischer, Russ (July 30, 2010). "Lee Daniels Lines up 'The Butler'; Will it Edge Out 'Selma'?". slashfilm.com. Archived from the original on November 3, 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Smith, Rob (August 30, 2010). "Prince of Broadway – An Interview With Lee Daniels". blackfilm.com. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- "The Sounds, Space And Spirit Of 'Selma': A Director's Take". WABE. January 9, 2015. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- Sneider, Jeff (December 11, 2014). "'Selma' Screenplay Controversy: Why Director Ava DuVernay Was Denied Credit". The Wrap.
- Fleming, Mike, Jr. (January 4, 2015). "Hard Road To Oscar: 'Selma's Ava DuVernay On Why It Took 50 Years To Make A Major MLK Movie". Deadline. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- Appelo, Tim; Golloway, Stephen (December 16, 2014). "Oscars: How 'Selma' Filmmakers Made a Movie About MLK Without Using His Words". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Norris, Michele (December 23, 2014). "A Vital Chapter Of American History On Film In 'Selma'". NPR.
- Shaw, Lucas (January 19, 2014). "Oprah Winfrey Joins Brad Pitt as Producer of Mlk Drama 'Selma'". thewrap.com. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (February 25, 2014). "Paramount To Make Mlk Pic 'Selma'; Oprah Winfrey Producing". deadline.com. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Mumin, Nijla (April 4, 2014). "Talented Cinematographer Bradford Young To Shoot Ava DuVernay's Upcoming Feature 'Selma'". indiewire.com. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Freydkin, Donna (March 3, 2010). "Lee Daniels at the Oscars: New film, new shoes, new shirt". USA Today. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Fischer, Russ (March 8, 2010). "Lenny Kravitz and Hugh Jackman Join Selma, Lee Daniels' Next Film; De Niro Confirmed". slashfilm.com. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Graham, Bill (March 11, 2010). "Hugh Jackman to Play Sheriff Jim Clark in Lee Daniels' Upcoming Civil Rights Drama Selma". collider.com. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Rosenberg, Adam (March 23, 2010). "Lee Daniels Confirms Liam Neeson, Cedric The Entertainer For 'Selma'". MTV. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Kryn in Middlebury
- Trumbore, Dave (May 20, 2014). "Production Begins on Paramount's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Biopic, SELMA, Starring David Oyelowo". collider.com. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "Paramount and Pathe Start Principal Photography on Selma". comingsoon.net. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- Brett, Jennifer (May 23, 2014). ""Selma" filming closes Marietta Square streets". accessatlanta.com. Archived from the original on May 31, 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "'Selma' filming in Olde Town; Oprah expected to be on set". The Newton Citizen. May 30, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- "Dr. MLK Jr. movie 'Selma' filming in Covington". The Rockdale Citizen. May 6, 2014. Archived from the original on October 21, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
- Sutton, Amber (June 27, 2014). "Dexter Avenue revisits the 1960s as 'Selma' begins filming in Montgomery". al.com. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- "Jason Moran Scoring Ava DuVernay's 'Selma'". filmmusicreporter.com. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- Strecker, Erin. "Golden Globes: John Legend Calls 'Selma' Song 'A Labor of Love'". Billboard.com. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- Zo. "John Legend & Common Deliver The Anthemic Collaboration 'Glory'". okayplayer. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- Newman, Jason. "'Glory' Wins Best Original Song at Oscars, Brings Cast to Tears". Retrieved February 23, 2015.
- McNary, Dave (October 31, 2014). "Oprah Winfrey's 'Selma' Set for First Look at AFI Fest". Variety. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Riley, Jenelle; Riley, Jenelle (November 12, 2014). "'Selma' Marches Into Oscar Race With Buzzing Debut".
- Brett, Jennifer (December 24, 2014). "Timely "Selma" opens at two Atlanta theaters Christmas Day". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
- "'Selma' Release Date: Paramount Dates MLK Jr. Pic For Christmas". Deadline.com. February 18, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- "Many World Premieres in the Berlinale Special 2015". Berlinale. Archived from the original on January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
- Evry, Max (March 18, 2015). "Paramount to Re-Release Selma for 50th Anniversary of Historic March". comingsoon.net. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- "Selma Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
- "Selma (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- "Selma Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
- "CinemaScore". Retrieved July 15, 2015.
- Roeper, Richard (January 1, 2015). "'Selma': History Lesson Moves Gracefully from Brutality to Tenderness". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- Morgenstern, Joe (December 25, 2014). "'Selma' Review: Honoring the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- Scott, A. O. (December 24, 2014). "In 'Selma', King Is Just One of Many Heroes". The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- "Selma". Miami Herald. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
- Travers, Peter (December 23, 2014). "'Selma' Movie Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- Denby, David (December 15, 2014). ""Selma" and "American Sniper" Reviews". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- Hornaday, Ann (December 23, 2014). "'Sema' movie review: Humanizing Rev. Martin Luther King Jr". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- Ford, Glen. "Selma: Black History According to Oprah". Black Agenda Report. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
- Reed, Adolph (January 26, 2015). "The Real Problem with Selma". nonsite.org. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
- "Film Critic Top 10 Lists - Best Movies of 2014". Metacritic. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
- Buckley, Cara (January 21, 2015). "When Films and Facts Collide in Questions". The New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
- Labrecque, Jeff (January 3, 2015). "Fact-Checking the Film: 'Selma'". Entertainment Weekly. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- "Historian questions accuracy of 'Selma'". Portland Press Herald. Portland, Maine: MaineToday Media Inc. Associated Press. December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- ""Selma" Movie". lbjlibrary.org. Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Updegrove, Mark K. (December 22, 2014). "What 'Selma' Gets Wrong". Politico. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- Califano, Joseph A., Jr. (December 26, 2014). "The movie 'Selma' has a glaring flaw". The Washington Post. Washington DC: Nash Holdings LLC. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
- Kaiser, David E. (January 9, 2015). "Why You Should Care That Selma Gets LBJ Wrong". Time. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
- Tumulty, Karen (December 31, 2014). "'Selma' sets off a controversy amid Oscar buzz". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- Evan McMurry (January 4, 2015). "MLK Aide Andrew Young Weighs in on Selma-LBJ Controversy". Mediate.com. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- Joseph, Peniel (January 10, 2015). "'Selma' Backlash Misses The Point". NPR. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- Snow, Leida (January 5, 2015). "'Selma' Distorts History by Airbrushing Out Jewish Contributions to Civil Rights". The Forward. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
- Green, Elon (December 26, 2014). "The Rabbis of Selma: Abraham Heschel and others marched with Martin Luther King". Tablet. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
- Ifill, Gwen (January 8, 2015). "Director Ava DuVernay on sharing the story of 'Selma' and deconstructing American heroes". PBS. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- Milliken, Mary (January 6, 2015). "'Selma' director makes history before awards are bestowed". Reuters. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- Lewis, John (January 16, 2015). "John Lewis tells his truth about Selma". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 20, 2015.