‘Brooklyn Castle’ Director and Star to Headline City Tech’s 2013 Literary Arts Festival

Brooklyn, NY — Katie Dellamaggiore, director of the acclaimed documentary film Brooklyn Castle (2012) and Pobo Efekoro, one of the student stars of the film, will kick off New York City College of Technology’s (City Tech’s) 32nd Annual Literary Arts Festival, to be held in the College’s Midway Building Community Room, 250 Jay Street (north of Tillary), Downtown Brooklyn, on Thursday, April 18, 2013, 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Top: Dellamaggiore. Bottom: Ekeforo.

Top: Dellamaggiore. Bottom: Ekeforo.

Dellamaggiore and Efekoro will facilitate discussions with the audience regarding storytelling in film, public education funding, and activism and the arts. The event will also include readings and performances by City Tech students. For more information, contact Festival Coordinator Professor Caroline Hellman, 718.260.4975 or chellman@citytech.cuny.edu.

Brooklyn Castle tells the stories of five members of the chess team at Intermediate School 318 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a school with few financial resources that has won more national chess championships than any other junior high school in the country. The film follows the challenges these children face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, and is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation of their victories.

Dellamaggiore is a documentary producer and director whose work has appeared on MTV, A&E, HBO/Cinemax and VH1. Over the course of her career, she has held various production and outreach roles on award-winning documentaries including 39 Pounds of Love, To Die in Jerusalem, 51 Birch Street and American Teen. She co-produced After the Storm, a nonprofit theater and film project that used art to revitalize the lives of young people in post-Katrina New Orleans, and directed, produced and shot UR Life Online for A&E Classroom, which explored sexual solicitation and cyber bullying and received an Emmy nomination for Single Camera Editing. In 2010, Dellamaggiore and her husband, Nelson, co-founded the television and film production company Rescued Media. Brooklyn Castle, her feature directorial debut, has received support from IFP Independent Film Week 2010, Chicken & Egg Films and the Fledgling Fund.

Efekoro learned to play chess in an afterschool program and the experience changed his life. He played on IS 318’s chess team for three years during which time it won five national championships. He says being in the chess program was invaluable in helping him develop analytical, planning and social skills and a healthy work ethic. Now a high school sophomore, Efekoro has petitioned Congress to continue funding quality afterschool programs.

New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York (CUNY) is the largest public college of technology in New York State. Located at 300 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, the College enrolls more than 16,000 students in 65 baccalaureate, associate and specialized certificate programs. An additional 16,000 students annually enroll in continuing education and workforce development programs.