One of the many films to world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
The film is based on William Kamkwamba’s inspiring true-life story and adapted from the bestselling book by Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.
If you haven’t seen the trailer, the film is about Kamkwamba as a 13-year-old when he finds an unconventional way to save his family and village from famine.
Produced by Andrea Calderwood and Gail Egan, and starring Oscar nominee Ejiofor, Aïssa Maïga, Lily Banda and introducing Maxwell Simba, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind premiered on Netflix and in select theaters on Saturday.
Adapted from the bestselling book by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind follows 13-year-old William Kamkwamba (played by 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
Shortly after seeing the film, Chiwetel Ejiofor & William Kamkwamba stopped by the Collider studio at the Kia Supper Suite in Park City.
They talked about being at Sundance, what the film is about, balancing fact and fiction, what it was like for William to see the finished film for the first time, what Ejiofor learned from early screenings, what it was like working with Netflix, how they each like to write, and more.
In addition, Chiwetel Ejiofor talked about voicing Scar in Jon Favreau’s The Lion King and his next directing project: The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace.