'Brooklyn Castle'

Daily reviews and interviews

SXSW Film

Brooklyn Castle

Documentary Spotlight
D: Katie Dellamaggiore

   The chess geeks at most schools might occupy the bottom rung of the social ladder, but at Brooklyn's I.S. 318 – which holds more national chess titles than any junior high in the country – "the geeks are the athletes," says Assistant Principal John Galvin. With a majority of its students living below the poverty level, I.S. 318 has developed a unique formula for achievement that relies heavily on afterschool programming to keep kids engaged. While the school's trophy case is a testament to that formula's success, the charismatic stars of this documentary – including Rochelle, who at just 13 years old is within reach of becoming the world's first female African-American chess master – reveal the less obvious benefits and hardships of such a program, which challenges students not just intellectually but also emotionally as they juggle school and family pressures, as well as their commitment to winning. Set against a backdrop of deep budget cuts and high-stakes testing, this story makes an eloquent plea for the crucial but endangered role of afterschool programs in public education.


Friday, March 16, 11:15am, Stateside

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More Screens Reviews
SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Go For Sisters'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Robert Faires, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'The Punk Syndrome'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Patrick Courtney, March 15, 2013

More by Nora Ankrum
Tilling the Soil of Tomorrow
Tilling the Soil of Tomorrow
How one design firm is tackling technology gaps to build the farm of the future

March 11, 2016

An Unusual Pastime
An Unusual Pastime
Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America couldn't be more timely

March 11, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW Film

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle