Queen of Katwe has been a topic of discussion in mainstream media since before filming began, namely because of the cast, but what many neglected to mention is just how many South African actors actually star in the film.
A few of those actors attended the premiere held last night at Montecasino, in Fourways and you can check out photos of their arrival, alongside other industry favourites at the end of this article.
Actor/director Akin Omotoso and actress Rori Motuba (who made her international red carpet debut last night) are among some of the South Africans that you will see in the film. Other stars, who weren’t at the premiere, include Maggie Benedict and Carina Nel who played Isabel (MJ’s girlfriend on Generations).
The film, starring David Oyelowo, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, was directed by Mira Nair and is based on the true story of a young girl from Kampala, Uganda, whose life is rapidly changed by chess.
“How?” you may ask?
Well (without giving away too much), a chance meeting with Robert Katende – a soccer player turned missionary and chess instructor – introduces young Phiona Mutesi to chess. Her natural aptitude for the game, coupled with her innate intelligence, allow her skills to progress at lightning speed but you will have to go see the film to find out the rest.
All I can say is that I found myself rooting for her early on in the film so I was subsequently bothered by her seemingly, never-ending misfortune. I actually spent the entire night trying not to cry but once that final scene ended, the floodgates opened and my face was covered in tears.
Queen of Katwe will open in South African cinemas on the 14th of October 2016.
Check out our photos of the red carpet arrivals the South African premiere of Disney’s Queen of Katwe