In early April I was fortunate to be invited with 24 other bloggers and was able able to interview Lupita Nyong’o about her role as Raksha in The Jungle Book. During that interview, I was so impressed by her grace, her quiet inner beauty, and her calming presence. I decided during that interview that seeing anything she was involved in would be a top priority for me. Every film she is involved in will be a work from her heart ~ A labor of love.
This featurette from Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE includes new footage from the film as well as interviews with stars David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o. The film, which is based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda who becomes an international chess champion, opens in theatres on September 23rd. The featurette will give each of you a glimpse into what I saw in Lupita Nyong’o in April.
The film stars Golden Globe nominee, David Oyelowo (“Selma”), Oscar winner and Tony Award nominee, Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.
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. 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. Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” will open in U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016.
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QUEEN OF KATWE opens in theaters on September 23rd!