232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
Ralph Ave. and Farragut Rd., Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Castle (Katie Dellamaggiore | 101 min.)
Brooklyn Castle tells the uplifting story of the unbelievably talented chess team at IS 318 in Williamsburg. With rankings higher than Albert Einstein and mostly from low-income and immigrant homes, this dedicated and naturally talented chess team has won over 26 national chess titles, more than any other junior high school in the US. The film focuses on five extraordinary players, Justus, Rochelle, Patrick, Pobo, and Alexis, as they experience the highs and lows of achieving their dreams.
Facing budget cuts and the threat of losing the chess after-school program, the instructors Mr. Galvin and Ms. Vicary, students, staff, family, and friends band together to help save the program. The students’ level of understanding and involvement with the budget crisis is unprecedented and unfortunately a sign of the times as childhood ignorance of real world problems fades.
Brimming with positivity and optimism, Brooklyn Castle achieves what is difficult for most documentaries; it’s inspirational without being preachy and leaves no feeling of sympathy but rather a sense of pride for everyone in the film. We laugh with them, cry with them, and praise their accomplishments and achievements as if they are our own.
“An absolutely wonderfully-produced feature documentary filled with touching, inspirational stories of hope, ambition and perseverance,” (Tambay Obenson, indieWIRE Shadow and Act) Brooklyn Castle was funded with the assistance of Kickstarter, IFP Independent Film Week 2010, Chicken & Egg Films, and the Fledgling Fund.
- Alece Oxendine