queen-of-katweAlex Heffes has been hired to score the upcoming drama Queen of Katwe. The film is directed by Mira Nair (Vanity FairThe NamesakeAmeliaMonsoon Wedding) and stars Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo. The  movie is based on Tim Crothers’ 2011 ESPN The Magazine article and book The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster and tells the story of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutes who became a Woman Candidate Master after her performance at the World Chess Olympiad. William Wheeler (The Reluctant FundamentalistThe Hoax) has written the screenplay. John Carls (RangoWhere the Wild Things Are) and Lydia Dean Pilcher (The Darjeeling LimitedCradle Will Rock) are producing the project. Queen of Katwe is expected to be released later this year by Walt Disney Pictures.

sky-ladderHeffes’ upcoming projects also include Hulu’s Stephen King adaptation 11/22/61 starring James Franco, as well as the thriller Bastille Day starring Idris Elba. The composer also recently scored the documentary Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang. The film is directed by Kevin Macdonald and traces the rise of contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang from childhood in Mao’s China to global art world superstar. Wendi Murdoch (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Fisher Stevens (The Cove, Stand Up Guys) and Hugo Shong (21 & Over) are producing the project. Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Foxcatcher, Capote) is executive producing. Heffes has previously collaborated with Macdonald on such features as The Last King of Scotland, State of Play and Touching the Void. Sky Ladder will premiere later this month at the Sundance Film Festival.