Grammy Award Winning recording artist Alicia Keys and Walt Disney Studios are partnering on the studio’s based on a true story movie “Queen of Katwe.” Keys’ new original song, “Back to Life” appears in the film and on the soundtrack for the movie.
Checkout this featurette for a taste of the song and more scenes from the movie:
“’Queen of Katwe’ moved me in every way,” says Alicia Keys. “The film beautifully depicts Uganda with such honest attention to detail—the colors, the sounds, the people—all vividly brought to life. But most soulfully, it’s the story of this fearless, brilliant girl Phiona who embodies the message that the rise to success first begins with opportunity, and the belief you have in yourself to pursue something bigger. The song ‘Back To Life’ that I wrote for this film alongside collaborators Illangelo and Billy Walsh, is about pushing past that little voice of doubt in our heads so we can instead, electrify the world. When we allow women to find and express their power and potential, the world changes for the better. I encourage people to see this film, be moved by Phiona’s story and then go back into their own communities and encourage a girl who will rise like a flower that breaks through the concrete to see the sun!”
The film’s Academy Award-nominated director Mira Nair (“Salaam Bombay!,” “Mississippi Masala”) says, “I have carried a torch for Alicia Key’s voice and passionate engagement with the world for years, so it was exciting to have her artistry join ‘Queen of Katwe,’ which celebrates the idea that genius is everywhere!”
“Queen of Katwe,” which will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 10, is directed by Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler and stars Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo, Oscar winner and Tony nominee Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga. The film is based on the vibrant true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda who is introduced to the game of chess by Robert Katende, a former missionary and soccer coach, and goes on to become an international chess champion.
About The Film:
For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Lupita 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 (David 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.