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Pierre-François Martin-Laval



Screening room

Status: Completed

Director(s): Pierre-François Martin-Laval

Forced to flee his native Bangladesh, eight year-old chess prodigy Fahim arrives in Paris with his father. Refused asylum, as illegal immigrants they spiral downwards into homelessness and desperation. 

By a stroke of luck, Fahim is introduced to one of France’s top chess coaches, Sylvain (real name: Xavier Parmentier), who tutors him and gives him a sense of purpose - his struggles on the chessboard mirroring both his victories and his crushing defeats in his battle for a normal life. 

Fahim then rises through local and national tournaments only to be crowned France’s Under-12 Chess Champion in 2012.

The film tells the story of a child who learns to live without his mother and without his father, far from home, from his roots and his language. Fahim’s tale is not only a moving account of the grim realities that underlie a supposedly caring society, but also a heartwarming testimony to a father’s determination, the kindness of strangers, and one small boy’s courageous will to succeed. 


Gérard Depardieu, Ahmed Assad, Mizanur Rahaman, Isabelle Nanty


Producers: Patrick Godeau
Director(s): Pierre-François Martin-Laval
Screenplay: Pierre François MARTIN-LAVAL, Thibault VANHULLE, Philippe ELNO
Directors of Photography: Régis BLONDEAU
Editing: Reynald BERTRAND
Original Music: Pascal LENGAGNE
Set Design: Angeline MASSONI
Costume Supervisors: Brigitte CALVET
Category Movie: Family

Production company: Waiting For Cinema
Production Date: 2019
Date of First Release: 10/16/2019
French Distributor: Wild Bunch Distribution
Country of Origin: France
Language: French
Duration: 107minutes