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In the middle of the Russian steppe, you will find Chess City, built by by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the first and only President of the Republic of Kalmykia, one of the smallest and poorest republics in the Russian Federation. Ilyumzhinov believes chess is the center of society and mandates that all children take compulsory classes in the game. There, a boy named Alekhan and his brother Amir dream of becoming world chess champions. The film documents their road to fulfill their dreams at a major chess competition in this authoritarian state.
Directed by Magdalena Pieta
Awards and Festivals
- New Zealand International Film Festival, 2011
- Watch Docs Human Rights in Film, 2011
- Krakow Film Festival, 2011
- Cronograf IDFF, Moldova, 2011
- Sheffield Doc/Fest, UK, 2011
- Full Frame IDFF, USA, 2011
- East Silver Market 2010, Czech Republic, 2010
Co-sponsored by New York Women in Film & Television