Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE Starring Lupita Nyong’o

This post will have all the official news, images, and trailers for Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.   Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE is the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.  Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE opens in theaters September 23, 2016.  Continue reading for more details, images, news, and trailers from Walt Disney Studios.

Update September 23, 2016

Mark Oguschewitz shares this spoiler-free review of Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE, it’s about much more than “chess.”  Now playing in select theaters and opening nationwide on September 30.

QUEEN OF KATWE

Madina Nalwanga stars as Phiona Mutesi in Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE, based on the true story of a young girl from Uganda whose world changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. Directed by Mira Nair, the film also stars Oscar (TM) winner Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo. © 2016 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

Update August 18, 2016

Meet the inspiration behind the stars and story of Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE.

Queen of Katwe

(L-R): Phiona Mutesi and Robert Katende, image courtesy Walt Disney Studios.

 

Phiona Mutesi’s story began when she came across Robert Katende’s chess program in a makeshift Agape Church in Katwe. Two years later Phiona became Uganda’s junior chess champion and eventually, the national champion. Then in 2012 at the age of 16 at her second Olympiad, she became a Woman Candidate Master, the first step towards Grand Master. Earlier this year Phiona graduated from St. Mbuga Vocational Secondary School. She is now applying to college and hopes to become a doctor or lawyer.

Queen of Katwe

(L-R): Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi, image courtesy Walt Disney Studios.

 

Robert Katende was a recent college graduate and soccer coach for Sports Outreach Ministry who ran a chess program for impoverished children in the slums of Kampala when he first met Phiona Mutesi. As Phiona’s coach, mentor and father figure, Katende was instrumental in helping her pursue her dreams and become the champion she was destined to be. Today he is married with three children and houses several of his chess students while simultaneously serving as the director of Sports Outreach in Kampala and running 300 chess programs throughout Uganda.

Queen of Katwe

(L-R) In the film QUEEN OF KATWE, David Oyelowo portrays Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi is played by Madina Nalwanga, photo by Edward Echwalu © 2015 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Queen of Katwe

Update July 12, 2016

Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo discuss the powerful story of the QUEEN OF KATWE, and their privilege of filming in and telling the story of the people of Uganda.  Lupita Nyong’o says within 10 pages of reading the story she was crying, and cried throughout the featurette below.

Update May 10, 2016

First trailer, poster, and images released for Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE.

Queen Of Katwe

For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. 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.

QUEEN OF KATWE

(L-R): Madina Nalwanga and Lupita Nyong’o, photo by Edward Echwalu © 2015 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

When Phiona meets Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game. 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 local 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.

Queen of Katwe

(L-R): Madina Nalwanga and Lupita Nyong’o, photo by Edward Echwalu © 2015 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

Original post from August 19 follows below.

Queen Of Katwe

Actress Lupita Nyong’o of QUEEN OF KATWE and President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey at the D23 EXPO (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

From Walt Disney Studios Press Release

At the D23 Expo, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey, with the help of Lupita Nyong’o, introduced the crowd to the upcoming film QUEEN OF KATWE, which is based on the inspirational true story of a girl from the poverty-stricken slums of rural Uganda who dreams of becoming a champion chess player. Directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler based on the book by Tim Crothers, QUEEN OF KATWE stars Nyong’o, David Oyelowo and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.

Queen Of Katwe

Actress Lupita Nyong’o of QUEEN OF KATWE at the D23 EXPO 2015 (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

Queen Of Katwe

President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey at the D23 EXPO (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

 

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.