The first look has been released for the directorial debut of Academy Award®-nominated and BAFTA Award-winning actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The film is produced by Potboiler Productions’ Andrea Calderwood (The Last King of Scotland) and Gail Egan (A Most Wanted Man).
Ejiofor stars in the film he also adapted from the book “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.
Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King are executive producers with Joe Oppenheimer, formerly of BBC Films, the BFI’s Natascha Wharton and authors Kamkwamba and Mealer. Participant Media, BBC Films and BFI, with funds from the National Lottery, are lead financiers on the project, along with Head Gear, Econet and LipSync. Participant will 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.
The film 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 (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 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.
Ejiofor is well known for starring in recent successful releases including Doctor Strange, The Martian, and 12 Years a Slave, for which his leading performance garnered him an Academy Award® nomination and his BAFTA Award win. He is represented by CAA and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman. He is represented in the UK by Alex Irwin with Markham Frogatt & Irwin. Casarotto Ramsay & Associates represent Ejiofor worldwide for directing and writing.
The production leads of the film include Academy Award®-nominated and BAFTAAward-nominated cinematographer Dick Pope (Mr. Turner), production designer Tulé Peak (City of God), costume designer Bia Salgado (City of God) and editor Valerio Bonelli (Philomena).
BBC Films, Participant Media and BFI present, and in association with Head Gear & Metrol Technology, EcoNet, LipSync and Cornerstone Films, a Potboiler Production.
Caption: Maxwell Simba stars as William Kamkwamba with Chiwetel Ejiofor as his father Trywell in the film directed and written by Ejiofor based on the book, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”.
Cast: Maxwell Simba and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Photographer: Ilze Kitshoff
Copyright of Boy Who Limited