The Martin Luther King biopic "Selma" opened the Palm Springs International Film Festival at the Palm Springs High School on Friday, January 2, 2015, in Palm Springs, California. Along with the usual festival dignitaries, the director of "Selma," Ava DuVernay, and actors David Oyelowo and Common were on hand to celebrate the film's screening at the prestigious film festival. Also rocking the red carpet was the lovely and talented Virginia Madsen (attending the festival for her new film "Walter") and actress, entertainer Shari Belafonte (the daughter of civil rights leader/entertainer and dear friend of Martin Luther King).
As many locals know, Virginia Madsen loves to spend free time in the area and her usual haunt is the Orbit Inn. She delighted the press on the red carpet of the opening of the festival with her grace and beauty. Her new film, "Walter" was screening just across the way from the "Selma" screening at the Camelot Theatres and will have a second screening on Sunday afternoon.
According to Madsen, "Walter," is about "a confused young man dealing with the death of his father and has the belief that he is the son of God. Her son decides who is going to heaven and hell and I play his slightly insane mother. It's a comedy."
On a more dramatic turn Shari Belafonte discussed how she was anxious to see "Selma," yet a little dismayed as why her father, Harry Belafonte (who was a dear friend of Martin Luther King and often with the civil rights leader), was not portrayed in the film.
Common and Golden Globe nominated actor David Oyelowo both spoke with conviction about their film. They both indicated that the coming of the film "Selma" along with the marches being held across the country over civil distressed, were not just mere coincidence but that something at larger must be at hand. Common expressed that with the film "Selma," perhaps people would go past the exterior of a person and see another human for what they are - another human being.
Speaking about his recent Golden Globe nomination, David Oyelowo said he leapt so high when he heard his name on the television that he hurt his knee. He expressed a true humility for being given the opportunity to portray Martin Luther King and was beyond honored with the recognition from the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Golden Globes.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival runs January 2 - January 12.