BIG & Digital releases new short film, "BUILDING MINDS WITH CHESS," starring Black Grandmaster Pontus Carlsson

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Chess helps improve ability in math, critical thinking and problem solving. The documentary can be streamed as part of a Virtual Field Trip for education, business, chess enthusiasts and other groups as well as individuals.

International Chess Grandmaster Pontus Carlsson with students in "Building Minds with Chess"

Starring Black International Chess Grandmaster Pontus Carlsson, "Building Minds with Chess" will bring value to student, business and community programs.

BIG & Digital, LLC announced the official release of "Building Minds with Chess," starring the highest-ranking and second Black International Chess Grandmaster Pontus Carlsson, during Black History Month. This short documentary, produced by Ken Mask, Taurus Bailey, Greg Ward and Matt Dillon, is available in all digital formats for theaters and online streaming by groups and individuals. “'Building Minds with Chess' will bring value to student, business and community programs - school activities, chess clubs, critical thinking workshops, coaching, and more,” says Tina Ratterman, president of distributor BIG & Digital.

View trailer: "Building Minds with Chess"

"Building Minds with Chess" explores how chess helps players improve in math, critical thinking, memory, problem solving and more. It also touches on Carlsson’s organization, Business Meets Chess & Kids, which is a social project that was created to foster authentic relationships between the youth of New Orleans and local business leaders. The goal is to build stronger minds in children and create mentorships through the game of chess.

"Building Minds with Chess" can be streamed online as part of a Virtual Field Trip. Virtual Field Trips include the film plus a live online workshop with Grandmaster Carlsson himself! He teaches students how to play chess, and they even get to play against him. Grandmaster Carlsson also hosts Virtual Field Trips for college students and businesses, sharing with them how chess thinking can revitalize a business and even be used as a tool for social change.

Virtual Field Trips are offered through Cinema Learning Challenge, created in 2017 and has served over 5000 students in Clark County, Nevada. It began as an in-theater program in Las Vegas, and recently expanded online in 2020.

At the age of one, Pontus Carlsson lost his entire family to Escobar’s reign of terror in Columbia. He was taken in by a Swedish family. His adopted father taught him to play chess at four years old. Carlsson went on to represent Sweden in international chess competitions and ultimately earned the title of International Grandmaster.

Chess is the most-played game worldwide! No matter what age, gender or socioeconomic status is, a person can play chess. Carlsson inspires people of all ages in the short film, "Building Minds with Chess."

Learn more about the film and programs for students here:

Rent or purchase the film here:

BIG & Digital, LLC, distributor of "Building Minds with Chess"
BIG & Digital specializes in distribution of films for museums and planetariums. BIG & Digital was founded in 2009 by Tina Ratterman, a veteran in the giant screen industry with 20 years of successful marketing and distribution experience for flat and dome theaters. The company has several films for flat screens and full dome shows for planetariums now in distribution. More information can be found at or on Facebook at

About Cinema Learning Challenge
The Cinema Learning Challenge (CLC) was created in 2017 and has served thousands of students in Clark County, Nevada, the fifth-largest school district in the United States. Cinema Learning Challenge Online launched in 2020 to provide Virtual Field Trip Experiences that combine museum-quality, educational films with online, hands-on learning activities led by experts and educators. Our mission is to inspire and connect students to careers and opportunities through educational films and interactive learning through field trips and events supporting National Academic Content Standards. CLC Online brings the impact of giant screen films and the excitement of interactive education to students, groups and families, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of scientists, inventors, explorers and lifelong learners. More information can be found at

CONTACT INFORMATION (for distribution and Virtual Field Trips):
+1-502-294-9314 (mobile)

PRODUCTION CONTACTS (for interviews):
KEN MASK, KEN MASK STUDIOS: +1-504-908-0337 -

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Judith Rubin

Tina Ratterman
since: 01/2010
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