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Brooklyn Castle tells the stories of five members of the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country. The film follows the challenges these kids face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, and is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation of their victories. Ironically, the biggest obstacle thrust upon them arises not from other competitors but from recessionary budget cuts to all the extracurricular activities at their school. Brooklyn Castle shows how these kids’ dedication to chess magnifies their belief in what is possible for their lives. After all, if they can master the world’s most difficult game, what can’t they do?

Winner: Audience Award, Documentary Spotlight, SXSW 2012
Winner: Audience Award, Newport Beach Film Festival 2012
Hot Docs, 2012

“The most optimistic, inspiring and downright thrilling movie released all year.” —Salon

“Touching, inspirational.” —Indiewire

“Irresistibly uplifting” —Variety

  • Directed By Katie Dellamaggiore
  • 2012
  • USA
  • DCP
  • 101 minutes