Hollywood film stars and directors are in Malawi’s Kasungu District on a mission to shoot a true story movie based on William Kamkwamba’s story ‘The Boy who Harnessed the Wind’, which has so far been one of the world acclaimed books to come from the country.
The story has been both a global inspiration and motivational since Kamkwamba with the help of renowned author Bryan Mealer wrote the book narrating his story.
The Hollywood crew which is being led by Chiwetel Ejiofor of the 12 Years a Slave fame has other famous names from Potboiler Productions like a British Female film producer, Andrea Calderwood from the movie “The Last King of Scotland” as well as Gail Egan from the movie “A Most Wanted Man”. Also from American`s film production company Participant Media is Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King and Joe Oppenheimer from BBC films. The production will see Ejiofor making his directorial debut. Ejiofor will also star in the movie as Kamkwamba’s father.
Participant Media, BBC Films and British Film Institute (BFI), with funds from the National Lottery, are lead financiers of the project, along with Head Gear, Econet and LipSync. Participant Media will also be handling the sale of North American distribution rights, while Cornerstone Films will oversee international sales and distribution in all other territories. Econet will handle Sub-Saharan African distribution.
Calderwood and Egan are producing the film while Skoll and King will executive produce the movie along with Oppenheimer, the BFI’s Natascha Wharton and authors Kamkwamba and Mealer.
According to a preview of the upcoming movie by by Anita Busch of Deadline.com, The film basically follows the 13-year-old 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 Kamkwamba (Ejiofor), to build a windmill which then saves his 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. Key themes from the film aim to raise awareness around environmental sustainability and the power of education.
In addition to Ejiofor and Simba, the cast features Lily Banda as William’s elder sister Annie; Noma Dumezweni (Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) as Edith Sikelo, the librarian who helped bring William’s story to public attention; Aissa Maiga (Anything for Alice) as William’s mother Agnes; Joseph Marcell (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) as Chief Wimbe; and Lemogang Tsipa (Eye in the Sky) as teacher Mike Kachigunda.