The highly anticipated trailer of Disney’s Queen of Katwe has arrived! Starring Academy Award Winner, Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), David Oyelowo (Selma), and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, the film is directed by Indian filmmaker Mira Nair (Words With Gods) and based on Tim Crothers’ 2011 ESPN The Magazine article and the book The Queen Of Katwe: A Story Of Life, Chess, And One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream Of Becoming A Grandmaster.
The fact-based story revolves 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda. 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.
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 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.
“This is a story about the commitment to a dream even in the most discouraging of situations. The slum of Katwe is a very difficult place to live, but you see these people living there with dignity and making it day by day.”- Lupita Nyong’o
The film is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher (The Darjeeling Limited) and John Carls (Where the Wild Things Are). Will Weiske and Troy Buder will serve as executive producers. Queen of Katwe will receive a limited release on September 23rd, and will expand theatrically on September 30th