Mira Nair’s new film Queen Of Katwe, an inspirational tale of a chess protegee from the slums of Uganda , opens in the US this week.
On the eve of the Friday premiere in Los Angeles Mira Nair, ever-disarming in her directness, bowled one over by revealing her completely desi side.Said Mira, “I was really looking forward to the premiere.We are all here,the team of Queen Of Katwe in LA.
There’s the astounding child actor Madina Nalwanga who plays the chess champ Phiona Mutes. I also have with me here in LA to attend the premiere the vastly talented David Oyelow who plays Phiona’s chess teacher. Then there’s the phenomenal Lupita Nyong who plays the chess protégée’s mother.She started her career with me assisting me on The Namesake, and I am so proud of her.All of us are super-excited about the film’s US release.”
For the LA premiere Mira wore not a fancy gown(Priyanka Chopra, please note) but asalwar kameez. “Aur kya? Main bilkul desi ladki hoon.I ironed my salwar-kameez for the premiere . I’ve three homes in Kampala, New York and New Delhi. But at heart I remain the Delhi girl.”
Queen Of Katwe was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. After its US premiere Mira prepares this inspirational saga for its Indian release.
“We’re opening in India on October 7 and we have prepared a dubbed Hindi version over which I’ve personally worked really hard. I believe this is a story that will connect with Indians in the smallest towns of India,” says Mira who shot the film in her home town Kampala.
“Uniquely, there are only actors of African descent in the film. It’s an all-black cast with not even a token concession to a white presence,” says Mira with her trademark throaty laughter.