This is a big story with a big heart. It's the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who rose from the Ugandan shantytown of Katwe to become a world chess master, all by the age of 15. When inspirational teacher Robert Katende (David Oyelowo) starts a chess club in the slums he has to overcome the prejudices of both the children and their parents. Under his devoted coaching - and with not a few motivational parables along the way - a handful of the children excel, but none more than Phiona whose unusual aptitude is backed up with a keen drive to win. Katende battles against bureaucracy, prejudice and the children's own sense of unworthiness, but a new world opens to Phiona, one which threatens to estrange her from all that has made her who she is.
This has all the elements of the best feelgood drama, backed up by the knowledge that it's a true story. (Stay seated for the credits to see the real people behind events.) And on top of the uplifting story and an engagingly naturalistic cast, director Nair makes Katwe one of the main characters, with shots packed full of colour, movement and interest. Checkmate to Nair and Disney!