Trailer of the true life story ‘Queen of Katwe,’ a movie chronicling the life of Phiona Mutesi, from Hollywood juggernaut Walt Disney, was recently released on Tuesday.
Though the trailer features a handful of known faces – including Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o – it is brimming with talented first-timers including Madina Nalwanga, who played the role of Phiona Mutesi in the film.
The vivid trailer started with a powerful quote from Liberian president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on a black background:
“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them.”
In the drama film, Nyong’o plays Harriet Mutesi, mother of a young Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi while Oyelowo plays Robert Katende, an evangelist who teaches local children to play chess.
The movie tells a tale of the need to push boundaries when journeying towards set goals, starring Katende playing the mentor role to Phiona after seeing her potential. Under her tutelage and guidance, Phiona turned out a chess world champion, overcoming her impoverished background.
One of the most inspiring quotes from the movie, a piece of advice from Katende to the young Phiona Mutesi, reads:
“Sometimes the place you are used to is not the place you belong. You belong where you believe you belong.”
Nyong’o was this month nominated for Tony Awards – the Oscars equivalent of stage plays and theatre performances – for her stage role in the Broadway play Eclipsed.
She told Entertainment Weekly that:
“There is an ease in the Ugandan demeanor that is very welcoming. I love the melody of the accent, the food, the music and the people’s inherent style.”
“There was a familiarity with my home country being right next door but also complete surprise in what was so different.”
“There is a resilience of spirit in Uganda. The slum of Katwe is a very difficult place to live, but you see these people living there with dignity. To go there and to have that environment to work from really did give life and meaning to our work. It was research, obstacle and inspiration.”
Nyong’o is still playing her Tony Award-nominated role in ‘Eclipsed’ and also gave her voice for the role of Raksha in ‘The Jungle Book’. Nyong’o was nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play category for her outstanding performance in Eclipsed, a play about the Liberian civil war. It deals with events in Liberia’s civil war and has been well reviewed.
The play, which was released to critical acclaim on Broadway, follows the lives of five African women held captive as sex slaves of a Liberian general. Nyong’o plays the role of one of these wives.
It is the first play on Broadway to have an all-woman cast, as well as a female writer and director. Oyelowo on the other hand last starred in this year’s ‘Nina’ with Zoe Saldana. Disney’s ‘Queen of Katwe’ is a biographical drama film directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler.
The film depicts the life of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan chess prodigy who becomes Woman Candidate Master after her performances at World Chess Olympiads.
The film is produced by Walt Disney Pictures and ESPN Films, and set for a limited release in North America on September 23, 2016, followed by a general theatrical release on September 30.