Film in the making about chess ace

Jesse February
Jesse February
Image: Supplied

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.