Co-presented by 9 Queens
Featuring a post-film discussion with Rochelle Ballantyne, one of the stars of the film!
“NYT CRITICS PICK! Irresistible. It's deeply satisfying watching these public school, hard-knock kids win.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times
“A wonderful documentary look at an astonishingly successful public-school chess program that manages to be more moving and heartening than you expect … which is saying a lot.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“Brooklyn Castle is inspiring stuff that grabs you by the throat and will leave you cheering - quietly of course. No shouting in a chess match.” – Linda Barnard, Toronto Star
In this inspiring, stand-up-and-cheer documentary, we follow five talented kids from Brooklyn, NY’s IS318, an inner city junior high school that has won more national chess titles than any other in the country. However, like so many schools and so many after school programs across the country, 318's chess club is facing budget cuts that could prove to be their end game. Brooklyn Castle is an intimately charming and moving look into the struggles each young student, and the entire team, faces – not just on the chessboard, but in life as well. With three-quarters of the student body living under the poverty line, will the chess club survive the economic downturn? Will the students realize their goals? Will Rochelle become the first female African-American chess master? Will sixth-grade prodigy Justus conquer his stage fright? Will Patrick overcome his ADHD by honing his powers of concentration? In life, as in chess, the answers aren’t clear. But thanks to the perseverance of their coaches and teammates, IS 318 works hard to stay alive for another season. We follow the team as they travel to tournaments and feel the drama as they try to achieve through chess what school board budget cuts continually fail to give them in life: a chance to become kings and queens. (Dir. by Katie Dellamaggiore, 2012, 101 min., Rated PG, PDA) Digital