Biographical drama about Ugandan chess prodigy, Phiona Mutesi, ‘The Queen of Katwe’ will premiere in Sedona, a city in the northern Verde Valley region of the U.S. state of Arizona.
Described by New York Times‘ A. O. Scott as “Irresistible”, citizens in the region situated in the Upper Sonoran Desert of northern Arizona will get to watch Lupita Nyong’o, an Oscar-winning actress return to their screens alongside other Ugandans.
The film, directed by Mira Nair, based on Tim Crothers’s book – will be presented at the Sedona International Film Festival.
“Queen of Katwe” — based on an inspiring and remarkable true story — will show November 25th to December 1st at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.
According to Verde News website, show times will be 4 and 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26; 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27; and 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1.
The cast includes Lupita Nyong’o, an Oscar-winning actress who is on the current (October) cover of Vogue, and Madina Nalwanga, a teenager from a poor neighborhood in Kampala, Uganda, who has never made a movie before. (A casting director found Nalwanga in a community dance class.)
Phiona Mutesi at a glance
Mutesi grew up in the Ugandan slum of Katwe, where as of 2011 fifty percent of teen girls were mothers; when
Mutesi was about three her father died of AIDS and shortly afterwards her older sister Juliet died of an unknown cause.
When Mutesi was about nine, and had already dropped out of school as her family could not afford to send her, she found a chess program run by the Sports Outreach Institute, which taught her how to play chess.
In 2010 she played six rounds on Board 2 and one round on Board 1 for Uganda at the 39th World Chess Olympiad scoring 1.5 points from the seven, and as of 2011 she was a three-time Women’s Junior Champion of Uganda.