Amidst the hype around Star Trek, Star Wars: Rogue One and The Suicide Squad we’d like to direct your attention to a film that hits much closer to home. The Queen of Katwe is a biographical film that tells the story of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan chess prodigy.
The premise follows 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi lives with her family in Katwe, an impoverished suburb in Uganda’s capital city Kampala. Phiona meets a retired soccer player turned missionary, Robert Katende, who teaches chess to local children. Katende works to empower the youth of Katwe through the game which teaches them skills that are required in everyday life: concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking.
As Phiona learns how to play chess she shows a natural aptitude to the game. Katende begins to mentor her, but Phiona’s widowed mother, Harriet, doesn’t encourage her daughter’s skill. Despite her mother’s concerns Phiona quickly moves through the ranks.
Now don’t expect an African version of Slumdog Millionaire. This film was shot in the streets of Katwe where the real chess prodigy lived and is quintessentially African.
Watch the video above to see how Phiona’s story became a movie. Check out the trailer below for another sneak peak of the film. Disney’s Queen of Katwe will open in local theatres on 14 October 2016