I was invited to Los Angeles to attend the red carpet premiere of Disney’s Queen of Katwe. Travel and accommodations were covered by Disney, but all thoughts are my own.
Keep following along as I bring more coverage of the event, including movie review and exclusive interviews with the stars. Queen of Katwe opens in select theaters today (9/23) and everywhere 9/30!
The Queen of Katwe red carpet was vibrant and colorful, just like the movie. I’ve had the opportunity to walk the red carpet of several premieres in Hollywood, New York City, and Orlando, and it was this red carpet where I felt most relaxed, most beautiful, and most like myself.
Perhaps one of my favorite moments at the Queen of Katwe red carpet premiere was seeing Madina and Martin (Phiona and Brian in the movie) dancing on the red carpet, celebrating their joy and excitement – and later, dancing again at the after-party.
This was their day. Their celebration.
Vibrant. Alive. Joyful.
That was what the Queen of Katwe premiere was for me.
I had the opportunity to dance near Lupita, Madina, Martin, Mira, and many other talented people involved in the production of the movie.
I was also able to meet David Oyelowo and his kids (and bond over the fact that we both have big families). You are going to LOVE him in his role as Coach Richard Katende (and after meeting the real Katende, I can attest that David nailed the part!).
And I had the privilege of celebrating and enjoying the evening with my blogging friends. I loved wearing my friend’s dress from Ivory Coast and sharing a dress from Cameroon with my fellow blogger, Elayna from The Positive Mom. She totally rocked the dress!
About Queen of Katwe:
“Queen of Katwe” is based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. Directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler, “Queen of Katwe” is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher, p.g.a. and John Carls, p.g.a. with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers. The film stars Golden Globe® nominee David Oyelowo, Oscar® winner and Tony Award® nominee Lupita Nyong’o 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 select U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016 and everywhere on September 30, 2016.
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