The Queen of Katwe

“…It’s about a slum in Uganda, a young girl and chess. These are not necessarily the ingredients the American moviegoer is lining up at the theater to see. It’s only when you put those pieces together the way they’ve been put together that it becomes a compelling story.” —Tim Crothers, lecturer in the UNC School of Media and Journalism

Tim Crothers first told the story of Phiona Mutesi—a young girl from the Katwe slums of Uganda who stumbled into a chess program as a 9-year-old searching for food—in 2011 in ESPN The Magazine. Though she could neither read nor write, Phiona turned out to be a chess prodigy, and the subject of Crothers’ third book.

Now, Queen of Katwe is a feature film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and ESPN Films about a dream and the drive to reach it. It’s in theaters beginning September 30, 2016.

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