Oprah Winfrey, actor David Oyelowo, and director and executive producer Ava Duvernay attend the "Selma" New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 14, 2014 in New York City. Rob Kim/Getty Images/AFP
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When director Ava DuVernay was shooting the Martin Luther King Jr. movie "Selma," she was nervous how the story of a 50-year-old battle for black voting rights would feel relevant for 21st century Americans."Selma," the first U.S. feature film ever to focus on the iconic civil rights leader, arrives in theaters next week, after nationwide protests over the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers that have put race relations back on top of the political agenda.DuVernay, an African-American woman -- a rarity among Hollywood movie directors -- calls the timing jaw-dropping.Before the film opens in four cities on Dec. 25, it has already garnered four Golden Globe nominations, including best director for DuVernay.Eight years in development and with crucial backing from producer Oprah Winfrey, "Selma" focuses on the early months of 1965, when Rev. King and thousands of black and white Americans attempted three times to march peacefully from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital Montgomery in pursuit of the right to vote.
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