The inspiring story of a young chess prodigy whose family overcame homelessness is coming to the big screen. According to Deadline, Trevor Noah will produce a film about 8-year-old Tani Adewumi; a New York-based chess champion who has defied the odds.
Adewumi garnered national attention earlier this year after becoming the New York State chess champion for his age division. Under the guidance of his school’s chess coach Shawn Martinez, he learned how to play chess within a year and began participating in competitive matches. He went on to win the New York State Chess Championship title for the kindergarten through third-grade division. While in the spotlight for excelling at chess, a focus was put on Adewumi and his family’s living situation.
His family fled from Africa to the U.S. to escape the Boko Haram extremist group two years ago and had been living in a homeless shelter. After their story received national attention, a GoFundMe page was created in an effort to help his family afford a permanent home. The Adewumi’s received over $200,000 from their fundraising campaign and moved into an apartment near Tani’s school. They also utilized the money to launch the Tanitoluwa Adewumi Foundation to help African immigrants in the U.S. who are facing financial hardships. “Anybody who is coming from Africa who is in the position we were in, we will help them. I want to release my blessing to others,” Adewumi’s father Kayode said in a statement.
The film will be based on three books about the family that will be released under the W Publishing group in 2020. Noah will produce the project alongside Bob Teitel, George Tillman Jr., Norman Aladjem, and Haroon Saleem. Paramount has acquired the project.