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Arrow Films Makes Its Move on the UK release of MAGNUS after its Premiere at the 60th BFI London Film Festival

07 November 2016

The Boy who became "The Mozart Of Chess": New award winning documentary MAGNUS

Arrow Films is delighted to announce that it’s award-winning documentary MAGNUS about young chess superstar Magnus Carlsen, will be released in UK cinemas from 25th November 2016. It’s cinematic release follows its UK Premiere at the 60th BFI London Film Festival this passed 10th and 11th October 2016 and will take place during the World Chess Championship 2016 on the 11th-30th November 2016.

MAGNUS, directed by Benjamin Ree and Produced by Sigurd Mikal Karoliussen, won Best Film at the Norwegian International Film Festival 2016 and was nominated for Best Documentary at the Moscow International Film Festival. With Magnus soon to defend his World Chess Championship title in November 2016, this thrilling documentary charts the path to glory for this unique prodigy.

As a young boy Magnus Carlsen was very different from his peers. He usually sat by himself, lost in thought, and his parents, Henrik and Sigrun, were concerned about his relative development. When a strong interest in numbers made them realise that he could become a good chess player, they introduced him to the game at the tender age of 5. He soon started climbing the ranks of the chess world.




At 13 he became the youngest grandmaster in the world, and began to wonder just how far he could go. Magnus is the incredible story of a boy, who went from being bullied by his classmates to become the World Chess Champion. For a decade the filmmakers have captured the decisive moments of Magnus Carlsen’s life, one of the world’s most intelligent people, and achieved over 500 hours of footage.

In 2004, when Magnus was 13 years old he made a decision: He would become the World Chess Champion. The coming of age story unfolds as we follow the prodigy battling his way through the ranks of chess, with personal sacrifices, special friendships and a caring family.




Director of MAGNUS, Benjamin Ree said “Chess is regarded as the touchstone of intellect, the ultimate battle of the minds. During the last 15 years Magnus Carlsen has become the highest ranked player of all time. I found it immensely fascinating that no one I talked to understood how Magnus Carlsen had become so good – not even himself! He has studied the game in a completely different way than all the greatest chess players in history. He has been driven by playfulness and curiosity, rather than discipline and structure. I wanted to understand how Magnus’ brain works and find out who he really is on a deeper human level.”

Tom Stewart, Head of Acquisitions at Arrow Films said “We are thrilled to be bringing this extraordinary documentary to UK audiences and to enlighten cinema goers to the remarkable otherworldly talents of Magnus Carlsen and the story behind his unlikely dominance of the game. The film plays out like a great man versus machine, underdog story, and will delight both fans of the game and those who've hardly been near a chess board.”


About Arrow Films
Arrow Films is a multi-tiered, all-rights entertainments company that is committed to deliver exceptional content via innovative and pioneering marketing solutions, best of breed technical achievements and world class customer engagement.

Combining State of the Art restoration with bespoke, striking and unique packaging including world first personalised versions, Arrow is the Global Market leader in the premium Home Entertainment market.

Separately, Arrow is focused in developing its own internationally iconic brands across multiple platforms, including physical media, theatrical, digital, publishing and at dedicated fan events. From TV Series to Feature Films, Arrow delivers content to customers at the forefront of new technology in the ever-changing media landscape.
Arrow is a friendly, family-based and respected entertainment company with a strong heritage and global ambitions.


Magnus Carlsen
Born in Tønsberg, Norway on November 30th, 1990 it wasn’t before long that Magnus Carlsen began to learn the game of chess. Although he began learning chess around the age of 5, he didn’t begin to show much interest until he saw his older sister playing well. After achieving his goal of defeating his sister and then father, his enthusiasm for chess grew.

• Magnus became an International Grandmaster at the age of 13, the youngest at the time, and the third youngest in history.

• At the age of 19, Magnus became the youngest ever chess player to be ranked World Number One. Since July 2011, he has been the highest rated chess player in the world.

• In January 2013, Magnus broke Garry Kasparov’s record by ten points achieving the highest rating ever with 2862. He increased his own record by 10 points, making 2872 and then to 2882, the highest chess rating in history.

• 6 months before he won the World Championship, In April 2013, Magnus was added on the TIME 100-list, as one of the most influential persons in the world.

• 22-year-old Magnus became the World Chess Champion in November 2013, defeating Viswanathan Anand in Chennai, India.

• He successfully defended his title in November 2014, once again defeating Viswanathan Anand. 

Benjamin Ree - Director
Benjamin Ree is a Norwegian documentary filmmaker. He studied journalism at the University College in Oslo and moved on to work as a journalist for Reuters and freelancing for BBC. A few years later he started making award winning short documentaries, which premiered at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam and the Chicago International Children's Film Festival. Today he works as a documentary director at VGTV. MAGNUS is a feature documentary about the world’s greatest chess player Magnus Carlsen and Ree's first feature length documentary.

Sigurd Mikal Karoliussen - Producer
Sigurd Mikal has over 20 years of experience from the film and TV industry, and in 2000 he graduated from the Norwegian Film school. From 2000 Sigurd Mikal worked as a coordinator, production manager and line-producer on more than 15 films, before he in 2007 took the job as project advisor of feature film and TV-series at the Nordic Film and TV fund.

In 2009 he established production company Moskus Film and in 2012 he premiered the feature film “Journey to the Christmas Star.” The film was box office hit and was sold to 116 countries all over the world.

Today Sigurd Mikal is a producer at Nordisk Film Production Norway.

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