David Oyelowo (Selma) and Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave) star in the true story of a young girl from rural Uganda (played by newcomer Madina Nalwanga) who discovers a passion for chess, and sets out to pursue her dream of becoming an international champion.
A film by Mira Nair
Uganda / South Africa, 2015, Fiction, 2h04 minutes, PG, colour, English
starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong'o, Madina Nalwanga, Dinaz Stafford, Hope Katende, Mark Mugwana, Robert Katende, Sarah Katende, Zohran Kwame Mamdani, Phiona Mutesi, Martin Kabanza
NOTE OF THE PROGRAMMER (Toronto, TIFF 2016) Director Mira Nair returns to the Festival with this rousing tale of a brilliant Ugandan girl whose humble life is transformed after she realizes her gift for chess. Based on an amazing true story, Queen of Katwe stars David Oyelowo (also at the Festival in A United Kingdom), Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.
From her vantage point in the Kampala shantytown of Katwe, 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) can see precious few routes out of destitution, even though her mother, Harriet (Nyong'o), works hard as a vegetable vendor to clothe and feed her children. When a missionary and one-time soccer player named Robert (Oyelowo) begins teaching the local kids to play chess, Phiona is transfixed - and displays an instant affinity for the game.
Recognizing raw talent and fierce moxie when he sees them, Robert takes Phiona under his wing. Harriet is worried that her daughter's new-found passion might lead to heartbreak, but soon Phiona is triumphing at local tournaments. As she gets more and more opportunity to demonstrate her talents, Phiona begins to realize that she might also be able to help her family find a better life.
There are few things more inspiring than a young person realizing their potential, and Nalwanga - as gifted an actor as her character is a chess player - captures Phiona's self-actualization beat by beat, move by move. Queen of Katwe is a thrilling story of hope and discovery.
Tags: Film, Youth, Black + African Diaspora, Female Director
Director Mira Nair
Production Company Walt Disney Studios Pictures (US)
Executive Producer Will Weiske, Troy Buder
Producer Lydia Pilcher, John Carls
Screenplay William Wheeler
Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt
Editor Barry Alexander Brown
Production Designer Stephanie Carroll
Music Alex Heffes
Original Score Alex Heffes
Cast David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong'o, Madina Nalwanga, Dinaz Stafford, Hope Katende, Mark Mugwana, Robert Katende, Sarah Katende, Zohran Kwame Mamdani, Phiona Mutesi, Martin Kabanza
Primary Publicity Walt Disney Studios Pictures (US)
International Sales Agent Walt Disney Studios Pictures (US)
US Sales Agent Walt Disney Studios Pictures (US)
Canadian Distributor Walt Disney Studios Pictures (US)
US Distributor Walt Disney Studios Pictures (US)
2016 | 41st TIFF - Toronto International Film Festival, Canada * Selection - Gala Presentations * World Premiere * Projection / Screening: Sat Sep 10 * Projection / Screening: Sun Sep 11 * Projection / Screening: Thu Sep 15 * Projection / Screening: Sat Sep 17 http://www.tiff.net/films/queen-of-katwe/