Netflix brings Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut to the screen


Chiwetel Ejiofor has commanded screens with his acting for years, but now he’s taking control in a new way with his directorial debut: Netflix’s The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

In his first foray into directing, Chiwetel Ejiofor is bringing a true-life, inspirational drama called The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind to Netflix. The Oscar-nominated actor will also star in the movie alongside newcomer Maxwell Simba.

The movie is based on William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer’s novel by the same name. The story follows 13-year-old William who lives in Malawi in East Africa.

William was always interested in how electricity worked as a kid, despite being raised in a society “where magic ruled and modern science was mystery.” He dreamed of building a windmill that would bring his village power.

More from Netflix

After a 2002 famine leaves his country and family devastated, William forages together what materials he can find to attempt to build machines that can provide his family with water and electricity.

Kamkwamba’s story was the subject of the 2013 documentary William and the Windmill, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature at the South By Southwest film festival. That same year, Kamkwamba was named as one of TIME magazine’s “30 People Under 30 Changing The World.”

For the Netflix movie, Simba will play young William while Ejiofor plays his father Trywell.

Ejiofor is also credited with writing the adaptation of the book, marking his first feature-length writing credit, according to IMDB.

The movie had its world premiere on Jan. 25 at the Sundance Film Festival and was met with relatively positive reviews so far with most reviewers complimenting Ejiofor’s ability to bring the world of Malawi to life while providing a vivid picture of the troubles the country faced.

Next. New Resident Evil TV series in development. dark

Netflix will be releasing the movie online and in select theaters (a necessity if they want consideration for any awards next year) on March 1. You can check out the trailer for the film below.

Will this be the first step for Ejiofor to dive more seriously into directing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.