It’s hard to emphasize just how important after school programs are in keeping kids off the streets, being productive and in an environment where they can continue to learn, flourish and grow with their peers. And while for the most part these programs tend to put the focus on the arts and sports, at Broooklyn’s I.S. 318, things are a bit different. Chess is king, the cool kids know their rooks from their pawns, and these young players are the driving force behind the upcoming documentary “Brooklyn Castle.”
Directed by Katie Dellamaggiore, the SXSW Audience Award-winning film tells the inspiring tale of the school, whose students — 70% of whom live below the poverty line — are part of a massively successful chess program that has seen them win more championships than any other school in the country. But their livelihood is threatened when budget cuts as a result of the tumbling economy may see their program put on ice.
Below, you’ll find five character posters for some of the kids profiled in the film, all of whom are given nicknames: The Dreamer, The Master, The Newcomer, The Politician, and The Competitor. By all accounts, this is a tremendously moving and inspirational piece of filmmaking, and should be one to mark down on your calendar. “Brooklyn Castle” opens in select theaters on October 19th. Check out the trailer and players below.