Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brooklyn Castle

from IS 318 website
The Outreach Director of the documentary, Brooklyn Castle, contacted me about their project.  It was originally called Chess Movie, and it is about the IS 318 Chess Team.  Elizabeth Vicary and other scholastic chess celebrities organize and help run the chess club that is made up of junior high school students.  Ms. Vicary runs a blog that updates the world about politics, personal happenings, and the successes of the IS 318 Chess Team.  Now, the successes have attracted the attention of movie makers.

Brooklyn Castle from Rescued Media on Vimeo.

I first heard of Brooklyn Castle on Vicary's blog as I was perusing the site in an effort to understand the efforts in producing a Nationally ranked team and simultaneously raise the funds to do so.  Our club also suffers from a deficit of funds and support, however, IS 318 is able to attend most national functions with the support of some valued benefactors and donors.  Justus Williams is a frequent mention on Elizabeth's blog, as are other chess playing children and they are the focus of the film.

This next week, they will begin their domination of the national chess scene by attending grade nationals in Dallas.  Unfortunately, we cannot afford to go and have our sights set on Supernationals 2013.  IS 318 is a school with 65% of the population under the poverty level and despite this handicap their chess team is the highest ranked team in the nation.  As surprising as it sounds here in Sun Valley, our public school system has 41% of the student body on free-and-reduced lunches (an indicator of socio-economic levels in a school system).

I look forward to seeing this film and Kali Halloway indicated, "we’re very near finishing the film (in fact, we’ve just started to submit to film festivals) and rolling out our outreach campaign (which will focus on getting more chess programs in schools throughout the country)."   They do, however, need additional financial support to finish and market the documentary and have a website dedicated to raising the money.

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