Back in 2009 William Kamkwamba, a 14 year old boy from Malawi, had to leave school when his family could no longer afford the fees. Determined to make something of his life he ended up making a windmill for his village to provide electricity – he made it from old bike parts. You may have seen it every now and then as an ‘inspirational post’ Facebook. His story was made into a book titled “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” and now that book is being made into a film by British-Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as his directorial debut. Netflix have purchased the rights for the film which was also backed by the BFI (with National Lottery funding) and BBC Films.
“The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” was shot in Malawi last year and will launch on March 1st on Netflix and in select cinemas in the US and UK. If you want to learn more about his story you can watch his TEDtalk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/william_kamkwamba_how_i_harnessed_the_wind
Adapted from the bestselling book by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind follows 13-year-old William Kamkwamba (newcomer Maxwell Simba) who is thrown out of the school he loves when his family can no longer afford the fees. Sneaking back into the school library, he finds a way, using the bones of the bicycle belonging to his father Trywell (Chiwetel Ejiofor), to build a windmill which then saves his Malawian village from famine. The emotional journey of a father and his exceptional son at its heart, William’s tale captures the incredible determination of a boy whose inquisitive mind overcame every obstacle in his path.
The film highlights the power of education and individual determination to change the trajectory of a life, a village and a nation. By telling the story of one boy’s efforts to overcome the barriers he faces to education, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind inspires audiences to imagine a future where every child, in every village, has access to knowledge and to opportunities to put that knowledge to work.