Press Office


Blind chess documentary screens at Culture Lab


A unique documentary about young blind chess players from India is being screened at Newcastle University’s Culture Lab this week.

The award-winning documentary Algorithms (2012 / 96mins) is lecturer Ian McDonald’s first feature documentary and the first ever to tackle the subject of blind chess.

It follows three talented boys from different parts of India who are driven by a man with a vision to put India and blind chess firmly on the map.

Spanning three years from just before the World Junior Blind Chess Championship in Sweden in 2009 to just after the next championship in Greece in 2011, it offers an insight into their struggles, anxieties and hopes as they strive to be chess masters.

The film has received critical acclaim and picked up awards at film festivals all over the world.

Ian, who recently joined Newcastle University as a Lecturer in Film Practice, based in Media and Cultural Studies in the School of Arts and Cultures, says: “The response to Algorithms has been amazing wherever it has screened. Audiences have been really taken with the subject matter, but most of all, it is the compelling characters in the film that seem to have captivated people. I am really looking forward to seeing what the people of Newcastle make of this extraordinary world of blind chess in India.”

The one-off special screening at Culture Lab, Newcastle University on 5 Dec 2013 at 5.15 pm is being hosted by the Research Centre for Film and Digital Media. It will be followed by a Q&A with Ian McDonald and Geetha J, the film’s producer.

Admission is free but a donation is welcome as all proceeds will go towards creating a high spec ‘audio narration’ to make the film fully accessible to the blind and visually impaired community.

published on: 2 December 2013