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Queen of Katwe (2016)

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A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess.

Director:

Mira Nair

Writers:

William Wheeler (screenplay by), Tim Crothers (based on the ESPN Magazine article and book by)
2 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Madina Nalwanga ... Phiona Mutesi
David Oyelowo ... Robert Katende
Lupita Nyong'o ... Nakku Harriet
Martin Kabanza ... Mugabi Brian
Taryn Kyaze Taryn Kyaze ... Night (as Taryn "Kay" Kyaze)
Ivan Jacobo Ivan Jacobo ... Young Richard
Nicolas Levesque Nicolas Levesque ... Older Richard
Ronald Ssemaganda Ronald Ssemaganda ... Ivan
Ethan Nazario Lubega Ethan Nazario Lubega ... Benjamin
Nikita Waligwa Nikita Waligwa ... Gloria
Edgar Kanyike Edgar Kanyike ... Joseph
Esther Tebandeke Esther Tebandeke ... Sara Katende
Hope Katende ... Hope Katende
Philip Luswata Philip Luswata ... Minister Aloysius Kyazze
Peter Odeke Peter Odeke ... Enoch Barumba
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Storyline

Living in Katwe, a slum in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona, her mother Nakku Harriet and younger members of her family. She and her younger brother help their mother sell maize in the market. She also helps care for her baby brother. Her world changes one day when she meets Robert Katende at a missionary program. Katende coaches soccer and teaches children to play chess at a local center. Curious, Phiona approaches and learns the game. She becomes fascinated with it and soon becomes a top player in the group under Katende's guidance..

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One girl's triumphant path to becoming a chess champion.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, an accident scene and some suggestive material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Reina de Katwe See more »

Filming Locations:

Kampala, Uganda See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$304,933, 25 September 2016

Gross USA:

$8,874,389

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,367,161
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filmmakers intentionally cast newcomer actors in leading and supporting roles to introduce a lot of fresh talent with regards to young actors required for the film. A mixture of South African and Ugandan youth were cast in various roles. The only big name actors in the film are Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo. See more »

Quotes

Benjamin: [around 113:00 celebrating wins in international tournament in Sudan the three are at a table drinking floats and eating french fries] We use to eat rice and beans in the village... look at what we are eating now mmm mmm mmm.
Ivan: Ketchup... it's the greatest thing ever invented !
[laughing the 3 hold up one french fry with ketchup on it in a toasting fashion and say "ketchup yeah... Cheers"]
Ivan: .
See more »

Crazy Credits

Just before the credits, there are short scenes of the major characters with the real people they portrayed. A brief synopsis of what the real people have done since the events of the film and are doing at the time of the film's completion is displayed as well. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lorraine: Episode dated 21 October 2016 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Skelewu
Written by Davido (as David Adedeji Adeleke), Komoru Ajiboye & Oluwaseyi Christian Akerele
Performed by Davido
Courtesy of HKN Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strong depiction of urban slums
10 October 2016 | by dibeyenduSee all my reviews

Mira Nair returns to Uganda once again, three decades after she made Mississipi Masala. This is a much better film. While Mississipi Masala centered around an upper middle class Indian-Ugandan family, Queen of Katwe is set in the slums of Uganda. Nair doesn't attempt to go easy on the slum visuals here. The filth and squalor are in your face here, from beginning to end. I haven't seen a film depicting poverty in this way for a long time. Even Slumdog Millionaire wasn't so strong. Otherwise Queen of Kawate is a fairly predictable story of an under-privileged girl rising to success against the odds. The medium of her rise is chess. She's the pawn who turns into a queen, as sometimes happens in chess. The performances are uniformly good, especially given that most of them are child actors (Mira Nair's first film was Salaam Bombay and she is pretty good at handling children). I found the end credits rather moving, where the real characters pose with the actors who played them on screen. All in all a very warm, watchable film.


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