At the Selma: The Legends Who Paved the Way
gala, held on Saturday, Oprah walked the red carpet and spoke with ET's Kevin Frazier about the importance of the film in today's political climate.
"You know I have always believed in divine timing. In my own life things just happen as they should. This film has been … maybe seven to eight years in the making," Oprah shared.
The film, which Oprah co-produced under Harpo Productions alongside Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment, is a historical period piece with a massive ensemble cast, but had a limited budget - which has been estimated at around $20 million. It was a challenge that few directors wanted to take on, except for indie director Ava DuVernay.
"When [Ava DuVernay] looked at this budget, she said she could make it happen, and tonight I saw it in a way I hadn't seen it before," said Oprah, who began to get emotional thinking about the film's production and possible future impact. "I'm just proud of her and I'm proud of what we were able to do with the film."
tells the story of Martin Luther King, Jr. leading the fight
for civil rights in the face of violent and aggressive racism, and the historic march from Selma to Montgomery which led to the passing of the civil rights movement.
In the film, Oprah plays civil rights activist Annie Lee Cooper, who was famously provoked and attacked by Dallas police in 1962 before joining King on the famous march in 1965.
Check out the video for more from Oprah Winfrey on the film's challenging production.
Selma is set for limited release on Dec. 25, 2014, and opens wide Jan. 9, 2015.