Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

UP presents the exclusive television premiere of the NAACP Image Award-nominated film “Life of a King,” the inspiring, unlikely true story of Eugene Brown and his one-man mission ( to give the inner-city kids of Washington D.C. something he never had – a future.  During his 18-year incarceration for bank robbery, Eugene discovered a multitude of life lessons through the game of chess.  After his release and reentry into the workforce, Eugene developed and founded The Big Chair Chess Club and changed the lives of a group of teens with no endgame.

Poster insideStarring Academy Award® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Selma, Jerry Maguire), UP Premiere Movie “Life of a King” will make its television debut on Sunday, January 18 at 7:00 p.m. EST / 6:00 p.m. PST.  A special encore of the film will air the following night on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 19 at 9 p.m. EST / 8 p.m. PST.

Produced by Animus Films & Serena Films production, the film is written and directed by Jake Goldberger (Don McKay).  Dan Wetzel, a writer and columnist for Yahoo! Sports, co-wrote the script with David Scott and Goldberger.  The movie’s ensemble cast also includes Malcolm M. Mays (Glorious, On the Run), Richard T. Jones (UP’s Lyfe’s Journey, “Judging Amy”), Paula Jai Parker (Pastor Shirley, “The Proud Family”), Carlton Byrd (The Last/First Kiss, “Castle”) with LisaGay Hamilton (“Men of a Certain Age,” “The Practice”) and Dennis Haysbert (“Backstrom,” “24”), newcomer Kevin Hendricks, Pepi Sonuga (“General Hospital”), Jordan Calloway (Drumline: A New Beat, “Unfabulous”) and Rachae Thomas (“Laps”).  The real-life Eugene Brown makes a cameo in the film.

“We are proud to share the powerful, real-life story of Eugene Brown’s Life of a King with our viewers,” said Sophia Kelley, senior vice president of programming, UP.  “Eugene’s difficult personal journey and generous spirit led him to found The Big Chair Chess Club.  His life dramatically illustrates how simple acts of kindness – like teaching someone chess – can change lives and inspire communities.”

Check out the trailer below:

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