British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo says he is pleased to be part of a film that shows Africa in a positive light. David is the chess coach Robert Katende in a new film Queen of Katwe alongside Lupita Nyong'o and Madina Nalwanga.
The film is based on a true story of Phiona Mutesi, a poor Ugandan teenager who became a chess champion. The movie was shot in both Uganda and SA.
"Numbers of other films have highlighted the negative side of what goes down on the African continent and that's a truism but what I haven't seen enough of is the positive side of what Africa is and represents," David told BBC. David said the film is a huge step forward for filmmaking and credited the input of director Mira Nair who showed Uganda in a new light.
"I do think that films have ingrained in them the perspective from which they are told and if that perspective is an outside perspective inevitably it comes with whatever bias is tied to that perspective. I think Mira Nair being someone who has lived in Uganda for 27 years, the level and authenticity and knowledge she is able to bring of course differs entirely to a guy from Burbank, California," he said.
The actor said although Queen of Katwe is a step in right direction, he is not fully convinced that Hollywood is ready to embrace diversity after the lack of “black nominees” at this year's Oscars, "I am very weary of us calling this a moment where things are going to change because it hasn't in the past," he concluded.
The film debuts in the U.S. on 30 September 2016