Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, will be released in UK cinemas by Netflix this February, and a new trailer gives us a first look at the actor’s work.
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.
Written and Directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind will be released in selected UK cinemas from Friday 22nd February, before hitting Netflix worldwide on Friday 1st March 2019. For a guide to which cinemas the film will be available in, click here – or read on for the trailer:
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is available on Netflix from Friday 1st March 2019, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription.
Netflix acquires Chiwetel Ejiofor’s The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
15th November 2018
Netflix has acquired the rights to The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, the directorial debut of Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The British film, which is based on the bestselling book of the same name written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, was adapted for the screen by Ejiofor, who will also star in the movie. That trifecta of talent is enough to grab anyone’s attention, with the film receiving backing in development and production from the BFI (through National Lottery funding) and BBC Films with Head Gear, Metrol Technology and LipSync, in partnership with Participant Media.
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.
The story 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.
Potboiler Productions’ Andrea Calderwood and Gail Egan are producers, with Joe Oppenheimer, Rose Garnett, Natascha Wharton, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Phil Hunt, Compton Ross, Peter Hampden and Norman Merry on board as exec-producers.
Simba and Ejiofor are joined in front of the camera by Aïssa Maïga (Anything for Alice), Lily Banda, Lemogang Tsipa (Eye in the Sky), Philbert Falakeza, Joseph Marcell (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and Noma Dumezweni (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).
The film was shot in Malawi last year and now, through a deal negotiated on behalf of Participant Media by Gabriel Brakin, General Counsel & EVP of Business Affairs and Krista Wegener, SVP of Sales & Distribution, Netflix has nabbed the global rights to the movie, excluding Japan, China and the free TV rights in the UK.
Ejiofor comments: “William’s story represents, what has to be, the future in countries like Malawi: developing countries, overflowing with beauty and harboring enormous potential. A global story, such as this, requires a global platform and I’m thrilled to be working with Netflix on bringing William’s extraordinary tale of determination and inventiveness to audiences worldwide.”
Jonathan King, President of Film and Television for Participant Media, adds: “Chiwetel brings incredible passion and skill as a filmmaker to this moving and impactful story about a young boy who uses his heart and mind equally to help better his community. We need this kind of story now more than ever, and we’re excited to continue the partnership with Netflix that started with Beasts of No Nation and continued with ROMA to bring this new film to audiences around the world.”
The film will launch in 2019 on Netflix and in select US and UK cinemas.
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