BY UGANDA VANGUARD

DUBAI – Queen of Katwe a 2016 American biographical drama film of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan girl in Katwe slum who learned how to play chess and becomes an international star is to be screened on the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC). According to adverts relayed on MBC, the largest private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Middle East and Africa the film is scheduled for Saturday August from 4:30 pm.

The film directed by Mira Nair and written by William Wheeler depicts Mutesi after learning the game becomes a Woman Candidate Master after her victories at World Chess Olympiads.

Queen of Katwe was also screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. The film had a limited release in the United States on September 23, 2016, before a general theatrical release on September 30.

Living in Katwe, a slum in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Mutesi, 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 (David Oyelowo) 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.

Her coach, over the initial opposition of the local chess authorities, takes her and the team to a national school level tournament at a prestigious local school. The group initially finds itself ill at ease among the other participants and the more affluent surroundings. However, their talent wins the day and Mutesi comes in first place.

The film then proceeds to trace the ups and downs of success at competitions and tournaments for Mutesi and her fellow Pioneers. The struggles of life in Katwe are ever present and Mutesi hopes that chess will provide a means of escape from Katwe for her and her family.

She leads the Uganda team at the Chess Olympiad in Russia, confident that she will succeed in becoming a Grand Master, securing the necessary finances to lift her family from poverty. However, the competition proves too tough, and she yields to her Canadian opponent.

Mutesi returns to Katwe, dejected and doubting her abilities. However, with the support of Coach Katende and the people of Katwe, she returns to chess, ultimately succeeding to the extent that she can purchase a home for her family.

The MBC group has a plethora of channel ranging from news to music and entertainment, some of these include MBC1, MBC2, MBC MAX, MBC3, MBC4, MBC Action, MBC Persia, MBC Bollywood, Al Arabiya, Wanasah and MBC Drama. The Group also has two radio stations: MBC FM, Panorama FM.

MBC was the first broadcaster to provide a satellite-based free-to-air 24-hour television network across the Arab world. It has remained privately owned, managed by a group of businessmen and shareholders, including chairman and CEO Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim.

MBC’s television arm, MBC TV, broadcasts via Arabsat and Nilesat satellites. MBC Headquarters is located in Dubai Media City.

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