Producers Distribution Agency (“Senna,” “The Way” and “Exit Through The Gift Shop”) will release “Brooklyn Castle,” the SXSW documentary from Katie Dellamaggiore which won the doc audience award, on October 19, followed by an awards season expansion.
PDA’s John Sloss believes the film is “hugely playable and will resonate not only with those who are interested in the future of our country’s educational system, and the millions of chess players in the US, but also the traditional documentary audience, and everyone who loves a great story, well told.”
Richard Abramowitz believes that “you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a massive advertising campaign to pique the interest of theatergoers,” stating that the key ingredients are “finding a film that plays, and targeting the right audiences with the right kind of grassroots, word of mouth campaign.”
The film also played at HotDocs and Silverdocs, and opened the Brooklyn Film Festival.
Synopsis and trailer below:
BROOKLYN CASTLE is the remarkable and improbable true story of I.S. 318 in Brooklyn. The school, where 65% of students live below the federal poverty level, has the highest ranked junior high chess team in the nation. The heart of the film is the engaging young students who populate the team: Rochelle, who has the goal of becoming the first female African-American chess master; Pobo, the team’s charismatic leader; Justus, an entering student who must manage the high expectations that come with achieving master status at an early age; Alexis, who feels the pressure of his immigrant parents’ desire for him to realize the American dream; Patrick, who uses chess to help overcome his ADHD; and James, the young rapping maestro and budding chess talent; among several others.