From Stephen King's horror masterpiece, IT, to Liane Moriarty's, Big Little Lies and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, it's a great period for the adaptation of books into TV shows and movies. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer is a semi-autobiographical book that tell the story of how an enterprising teenager in Malawi builds a windmill from scraps he finds around his village and brings electricity, and a future, to his family.
The book's film adaptation, and Oscar-winning actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor's directorial debut has started production in Malawi. Chiwetel will star, write and direct the yet untitled movie.
The film follows 13-year-old William Kamkwamba (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 village from famine.
The emotional journey of a father and his exceptional son at its heart, the story captures the incredible determination of a boy whose inquisitive mind overcame every obstacle in his path.
Speaking about the movie, Chiwetel says:
"William's story represents what has to be the future in countries like Malawi: developing countries, overflowing with beauty, and with potential which simply needs access to opportunity in order to be fully unleashed.
William's determination and inventiveness created something that not only meant the end of the "hungry season" for his community, it also catapulted him into a future where all his potential could be realized."
More than just entertaining, the film also aims 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 older 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.