Following the film, there will be a curated Q&A session with Director
Mira Nair and actors Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo.
“Queen of Katwe” is the colorful true story of a young girl selling
corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when
she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the
support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with
the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of
becoming an international chess champion. Directed by Mira Nair
(“Monsoon Wedding”) from a screenplay by William Wheeler (“The Hoax”)
based on the book by Tim Crothers, “Queen of Katwe” is produced by
Lydia Dean Pilcher (“The Darjeeling Limited”) and John Carls (“Where
the Wild Things Are”) with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as
executive producers. The film stars Golden Globe® nominee David
Oyelowo (“Selma”), Oscar® winner and Tony Award® nominee Lupita
Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.
For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the
impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant
struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to
take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the
market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their
heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player
turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated.
Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and
risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and
Katende hopes to empower youth with the game. Phiona is impressed by
the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows
potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the
fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to
mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not
wanting to see her daughter disappointed. As Phiona begins to succeed
in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in
order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in
tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life.
Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and
teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential,
escape a life of poverty and save her family. Disney’s “Queen of
Katwe” opens in U.S. theaters in limited release on September 23,
expanding wide September 30, 2016.
©2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc.