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Paramount To Feature Homeless 8-Year Old Nigerian Who Won Chess Champion Of New York

Homeless 8-Year Old Nigerian Chess Prodigy Who Won NY State Championship Checkmates Paramount Movie Deal With ‘Daily Show’s Trevor Noah Among Producers.
Paramount To Feature Homeless 8-Year Old Nigerian Who Won Chess Champion Of New York

Paramount has acquired an untitled film project built around the Adewumi family. Living in a homeless center on religious asylum, 8-year-old Tani won the 2019 New York chess championship, despite only being introduced to the game two years earlier. The drama will be culled from three books on the family that have been set up at the HarperCollins imprint W Publishing.

Producing are Day Zero Productions’ Trevor Noah and Haroon Saleem, State Street Pictures’ George Tillman Jr. and Bob Teitel, and Mainstay Entertainment’s Norman Aladjem.

The drama will tell the story of a Nigerian family that escaped terrorism in their home country, sought and received asylum in America and — against all odds — found a welcoming new home in New York. It’s a story of love, peace, community and faith and the lengths parents will go to bring their family to safety and provide them a better life. Tani’s accomplishment went viral and the family’s story became an inspiration to many. The books will publish in spring 2020.

Noah, host, exec producer and writer of the Emmy and Peabody-winning The Daily Show, and his Day Zero partner Haroon Saleem are already in business with Aladjem’s Mainstay on an adaptation of Noah’s bestselling memoir Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood. That one is set at Paramount Players, and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o is attached to star. Day Zero and Mainstay are in prep for Noah’s untitled series for Quibi, which he will star in and produce.

State Street’s Teitel and Tillman most recently produced the acclaimed drama The Hate U Give, which Tillman directed. Jay Marcus will be exec producer and will oversee the project for State Street Pictures.

Noah, Tillman Jr, Teitel and the Adewumi family are repped by CAA. Noah’s also Mainstay Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson; Tillman is manager Lindsay Williams and attorney Steve Burkow of Ziffren Brittenham, latter of whom also reps Teitel. The Adewumis are repped by CAA for both film and publishing along with attorney Marc H. Simon at Fox Rothschild.

Tanitoluwa Adewumi won the state tournament for his group, from kindergarten through third grade, last weekend.

The boy and his family fled their home in Nigeria in 2017 in fear for their lives and have been living in a homeless shelter ever since while their application for asylum pends.
Paramount To Feature Homeless 8-Year Old Nigerian Who Won Chess Champion Of New York

Tanitoluwa Adewumi won the state tournament for kindergarten through third grade last weekend. He is pictured with his trophy

Tani, as he is known to family and friends, plays chess at the elementary school he attends and practices every night in the shelter.

His father Kayode drives for Uber and is also a real estate broker.

The family moved to the US to escape Boko Haram, a terrorist group responsible for atrocious attacks against Africans.

Because they are devout Christians, they feared they would be targeted.

Tani and his siblings became enrolled in local elementary schools not long after they arrived and he discovered the chess club.

His mother Oluwatoyin emailed them to say that while they could not afford to pay the fees attached, he was eager to participate.
Paramount To Feature Homeless 8-Year Old Nigerian Who Won Chess Champion Of New York

Tani's father Kayode drives for Uber and is also a real estate broker. They are pictured with his mother Oluwatoyin and older sibling.
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