21 October: Mira Nair


Mira has flexed her directing muscles across a galaxy of genres from romantic comedies such as Mississippi Masala (Sarita Choudhury’s debut role alongside Denzel Washington), period drama Vanity Fair starring Reese Witherspoon, and dramatic biopic Amelia starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere. Her most recent film was drama The Reluctant Fundamentalist starring Kate Hudson. Mira’s CV has impressed Disney who signed her up to direct this week’s biggest release The Queen of Katwe.

Based on true events, Queen of Katwe stars Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi – a child chess prodigy whose talents saw her travel from her Ugandan shanty town on a journey of the world and self discovery. Starring David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o, the film premiered at London Film Festival to an array of cheering reviews.

Blending her love of storytelling with activist undertones, she’s had a long career of championing human stories and creating visibility for those so often overlooked by Hollywood. In an interview, Mira said; ‘I always take great heart when people who are considered outside of any society make themselves survive with a great amount of resilience and panache, right from Salaam Bombay! to The Queen Of Katwe’. Going on to discuss her personal relationship with Uganda, Mira said: ‘Kampala truly is my home, for the last 27 years and more. It was a fantastic thing to make a film that represents the dignity and beauty of everyday Kampala and everyday Ugandan people with the knowledge and love that I had from living there’.

Read Mira Nair’s full interview here. Make your move and get to the cinema this weekend to watch the rousing, moving and elegantly told Queen of Katwe!

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