The BFI London Film Festival has set the European premiere of Queen Of Katwe for October 9 at the Odeon Leicester Square. The drama will screen as part of the fest’s headline gala section. David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga star in the film from director Mira Nair. Queen Of Katwe is the true story of a young girl, Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess by Robert Katende (Oyelowo) a soccer player turned missionary. As a result of the support she receives from her mother, played by Nyong’o, her family and community, Phiona pursues her dream of becoming an international chess champion. LFF Director Clare Stewart calls the film “an inspirational story, directed with vision and heart by Mira Nair and featuring performances of great depth and integrity.” The premiere coincides with the launch of the BFI’s Black Star season celebrating black actors in film and television, which runs from October 17 to the end of the year. Disney has set a September 23 limited domestic release on Queen Of Katwe, expanding a week later. The UK release is November 4. The LFF runs from October 5-16.
Endemol Shine Group has appointed Ivan Nash Vila as CFO. The exec joins from Liberty Global this fall, working out of the Amsterdam headquarters and reporting to CEO Sophie Turner Laing. Nash Vila is currently CFO of Central Europe at Liberty Global, overseeing financial operations and strategy for the combined business in Austria/Switzerland and five countries in Central & Eastern Europe. At ESG, he will be responsible for leading all finance operations including controlling, accounting, tax and treasury as well as IT and internal controls.