In the new biographical sports drama “Queen of Katwe,” newcomer Madina Nalwanga stars as a Ugandan chess prodigy from Katwe who becomes a Woman Candidate Master after performances at World Chess Olympiads.
“Queen of Katwe” is a true story about 9-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga) struggling to make a living on the streets of Uganda. She and her family devote their days to selling maize on the streets of Katwe, a section of poverty-stricken slums in Kampala, so education of any kind is not an option. Phiona’s mother, Harriet (Lupita Nyong’o), is trying her hardest to care for her family, but is tired by the toils of life in the slums and is fearful that she can never offer her family a better life. But Phiona’s entire world quickly changes when Robert Katende (David Oyelowo) introduces her to chess and provides a chance for her to better herself. Through the support and endorsement she gets from her family and Uganda people, Phiona is inspired with the assurance and willpower she requires to chase her dreams of becoming an international chess champion. The moving film is beautifully directed by Mira Nair and offers a fascinating look at what life in a Kampala slum is like. The cast gives enthralling and passionate performances, and Lupita Nyong’o once again showcases her ability to portray strong-willed women on screen.
A few days prior to the film’s release I had the opportunity to see the film and participate in a live Q&A with the cast and director of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe.” The Q&A was broadcast to 33 theaters around the U.S. and live on Periscope and Twitter @DisneyStudios, bringing the discussion to fans across the world.
The cast discussed how personal the project was to them and answered a few questions from Twitter.
Here are just some of the questions that the cast answered:
— the best west ❥ॐ (@WEST_notkanye) September 19, 2016
— raphael (@benwhishw) September 19, 2016
How much time did you spend with the people you were portraying? #askqueenofkatwe
— Kayla (@prettykayla0301) September 19, 2016
Thanks to Moroch and Coog Radio for the chance to see the film and participate in the live Q&A. “Queen of Katwe” is in select theaters tomorrow!