QUEEN OF KATWE, directed by Mira Nair, will receive its European premiere on Sunday 9 October at the Odeon Leicester Square, screening in the prestigious London Film Festival headline gala section.
The film stars Golden Globe® nominee David Oyelowo, Oscar® winner and Tony Award® nominee Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, who will attend with director Mira Nair.
Queen of Katwe is the vibrant true story of a young girl, Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess by Robert Katende (Oyelowo) a soccer player turned missionary. As a result of the support she receives from her mother Harriet (Nyong’o), family and community, Phiona is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.
Director Mira Nair, says: “It makes me very proud that the European premiere of Queen of Katwe , a film so close to my heart, and set in my hometown of Kampala, will take place at the BFI London Film Festival. I have so many fond memories of London. We are proud to be back.”
David Oyelowo, comments: “Queen of Katwe beautifully illustrates a thing I know to be true but rarely see in films. Africa is teeming with amazing people who in spite of their, at times, difficult lives, manage to remain full of joy and hope. This is a story where the impossible is made possible through family, mentorship, encouragement, hard work, and faith, all things we can aspire to. It is a story that speaks to anyone and everyone, and I am so proud to have it screen in my hometown as part of the BFI London Film Festival.”
Clare Stewart, BFI London Film Festival Director, says: “Queen of Katwe is an inspirational story, directed with vision and heart by Mira Nair and featuring performances of great depth and integrity from David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga. We are proud to be announcing its European premiere to coincide with the launch of the BFI’s Black Star season.”
Directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler, Queen of Katwe is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher, p.g.a. and John Carls, p.g.a. with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers.
Queen of Katwe is the seventh film directed by Mira Nair to be presented at the Festival, following Salaam Bombay! (1988), Mississippi Masala (1991), Monsoon Wedding (2001),Vanity Fair (2004), Namesake (2006) and The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012).