Film in the mak­ing about chess ace

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Yolanda Palezweni PalezweniY@ti­soblack­star.co.za

FILM-mak­ers in Nel­son Man­dela Bay have launched a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign to raise funds for a doc­u­men­tary about Port El­iz­a­beth chess cham­pion Jesse Feb­ru­ary.

The doc­u­men­tary aims to spike in­ter­est in lo­cal chess and the pro­duc­ers hope to dis­trib­ute the film across many plat­forms.

Di­rec­tor and pro­ducer Ra­mon Thomas, 43, said he wanted to make a film about the im­pact of chess in a small town like Uiten­hage.

Thomas said: “In 2013, I tried us­ing crowd-fund­ing and raised about R1 000 and it was not enough to hire cam­era­men and get bet­ter equip­ment.”

He said he re­alised the best sto­ries have a hero with whom the au­di­ence can con­nect with.

“We’ve as­sem­bled a small team from Uiten­hage and Port El­iz­a­beth to com­plete the project, and have rewrit­ten the story to fo­cus on a young lady, who is a sym­bol of hope and courage in our coun­try,” he said.

He said that some of the best chess play­ers in the world came from Nel­son Man­dela Bay.

Chess was one of those games that ap­pealed to all groups, ages and gen­ders.

Feb­ru­ary who is an ac­count­ing stu­dent study­ing through Unisa, is the high­est-ranked fe­male in the coun­try.

She also coaches chess to chil­dren at a num­ber of Port El­iz­a­beth schools.

Feb­ru­ary said: “Shar­ing my knowl­edge is my pas­sion. There are so many things non-chess folks don’t know about the world of chess, and with this doc­u­men­tary, it’s a chance to re­ally show them.”

After grad­u­at­ing she would fo­cus more on chess in the hope of fi­nally be­come a Grand Mas­ter. She now holds the rank of Woman In­ter­na­tional Mas­ter.

Thomas said they hoped to raise R25 000.

JESSE FEB­RU­ARY

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