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Chiwetel Ejiofor - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Festival Predictions

2019 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: #16. Chiwetel Ejiofor – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

2019 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: #16. Chiwetel Ejiofor – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

With a recent Netflix pick-up, the distrib will have to figure out if it’ll throw Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind into the awardage discussion or … allow it to bow earlier than anticipated. Then again, Sundance have welcomed the actor on several occasions — most recently Joshua Marston’s Come Sunday. Teaming with cinematographer Dick Pope, Chiwetel Ejiofor started lensing began in late 2017. Worth noting: the true story was the subject of docu William and the Windmill.

Rooftop Films 2019

Gist: Adapted from the book written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, Malawi-shot story story 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 (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.

Production Co./Producers: Potboiler Productions’ Andrea Calderwood (The Last King of Scotland) and Gail Egan (A Most Wanted Man).

Prediction: World Dramatic Competition.

U.S. Distributor: Netflix.



Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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