AMC Theaters will partner with Color of Change to provide free screenings of Disney's upcoming A Wrinkle in Time for underprivileged children. Selma director Ava DuVernay's adaptation of the acclaimed 1962 sci-fi classic by Madeline L’Engle features a diverse cast, including Storm Reid as protagonist Meg Murry, Oprah Winfrey, and Mindy Kaling, and promises some spectacular visuals to go along with its mind-bending story.
This past month, Disney and Marvel's Black Panther became a phenomenon, and celebrities such as Octavia Spencer and Lupita Nyong'o made efforts to help more children see the film. Blank Panther seems to have become more than just a movie - it's a symbol and a signal of change: a blockbuster about an African hero starring a mostly black cast, with black filmmakers behind the camera. Similar efforts are underway with A Wrinkle in Time.
EW reports that AMC Theaters will team up with online racial justice organization Color of Change to launch "Give a Child a Universe", a push to reach out to groups and individuals to by and then donate tickets for screenings on A Wrinkle in Time's premiere date of Friday, March 9. Color of Change will work to distribute the donated tickets to underprivileged children. Color of Change's executive director Rashad Robinson praised the film's director in her attempts to expand black representation on the big screen:
“Color of Change believes in the power of images and supports those working to change the rules in Hollywood so that inclusive, empathetic and human portrayals of Black people and people of color are prominent on the screen. From Selma to now A Wrinkle In Time, Ava DuVernay has set out to change the rules in Hollywood for people of color and women. By casting a black teenage actress Storm Reid as the heroine at the center of this story, the filmmakers and the studio send a powerful message to millions of young people who will see someone like them embracing their individuality and strength to save the world. We are pleased to partner with AMC to ensure that as many young people as possible, regardless of economic and financial hardships, can see this groundbreaking film.”
While Black Panther is currently breaking records left and right, A Wrinkle in Time is already a milestone in its own right. It is the first live-action film with a budget of over $100 million to be directed by a woman of color. Casting young actress Storm Reid was a move toward diversity as well, and her presence could serve as a source of real inspiration to not just African-American girls, but children of all ages and backgrounds.
We've seen similar movements spearheaded by people like Spencer and Nyong'o, along with crowdfunded efforts to help Harlem children see Black Panther. This initiative is significant in that it involves AMC Theaters, a theatrical exhibition behemoth with plenty of resources available to help children and families in need. In fact, AMC (and even Disney) could easily go even further and at least match each donation dollar for dollar, making it even easier for kids with limited means to see A Wrinkle in Time, which it could be argued is more of a kids' movie than Black Panther.
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