Private Project

The Man in the Red Beret

Chess Master Jude Acers has set up his "World Chess Table" on Decatur Street in the New Orleans French Quarter since 1981, where he continues to play all comers for $5 a game. This is his story.

  • Derek Bridges
  • Trey DeArk
  • Kaitlin Hanrahan
  • Derek Bridges
  • Kaitlin Hanrahan
    Director of Photography
  • Derek Bridges
  • Jude Acers
    Key Cast
  • Marilyn Pelias
    Key Cast
    "Marilyn the Great"
  • Jesse James
    Key Cast
  • Baylee Badawy
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 33 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 6, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director - Derek Bridges
Director Statement

Jude Acers should be in the Chess Hall of Fame for a lifetime spent promoting the game of chess in ways nobody else can match.

I'm a first time director and made this film to learn how to make films. I write, I take photos, have some journalism experience. A documentary seemed like a natural melding of skills and interests. Of course I needed many more skills than I had when I started this project. And I'm a slow learner. So it took a good 12 years to get here.

I hope you feel like you've met Jude Acers after you've watched this documentary. Or, if you already knew Jude, recognize him and appreciate having more time with him. And I also want you to feel like you've spent some time in New Orleans, with a side trip to Opatija, Croatia. And, even if you don't play the game, you feel like you get why Jude Acers loves the game of chess, and you want to play a game yourself. Or take your game to the next level. Or marvel at the play of someone on the level above you.