By Marcus Jones
June 05, 2020 at 02:33 PM EDT
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Paramount has made the Oscar-nominated 2015 film Selma available to stream on all digital platforms for free for the rest of June.

In a Twitter post announcing the news, the film's director Ava DuVernay shared her hope that the production will help people to "understand where we’ve been to strategize where we’re going," adding, "History helps us create the blueprint."

"We hope this small gesture will encourage people throughout the country to examine our nation’s history and reflect on the ways that racial injustice has infected our society," a representative for Paramount said in a statement. "The key message of Selma is the importance of equality, dignity and justice for all people. Clearly, that message is as vital today as it was in 1965."

The Best Picture nominee covers Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1965 campaign to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to secure equal voting rights for black Americans. The protestors' first attempt at the march ended early on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, when local police brutally beat the protestors in an event known as Bloody Sunday.

Atsushi Nishijima/Paramount

As protests demanding justice for unarmed black people killed by police, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, continue to sweep the nation – the continued effort of Dr. King Jr. depicted in Selma is a reminder of the success that can come from unrelenting demonstration efforts.

In addition to the message of the film, Selma is a movie that features David Oyelowo in his breakout role as the iconic Civil Rights leader. The film also includes appearances from several young black actors like Tessa Thompson, LaKeith Stanfield, and Stephan James, who have continued to have success on big film and TV projects like Thor: RagnorokKnives Out, and Homecoming.

The news comes after Oyelowo shared his belief that the film was snubbed by Academy voters after the cast wore "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts to the premiere of the drama as a tribute to Eric Garner.

"Selma coincided with Eric Garner being murdered," Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King, Jr. in the biopic, said during a recent edition of Screen Daily's Screen Talks. "That was the last time we were in a place of ‘I Can’t Breathe.'"

DuVernay confirmed Oyelowo's account in a Twitter post that read, "True story." A rep for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not have an official comment, though the official Oscars Twitter account responded to the filmmaker's tweet.

"Ava & David, we hear you. Unacceptable," it reads. "We're committed to progress."

Selma is now available to stream for free on all digital platforms in the U.S.

To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
  • Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
  • Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.

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