I was reading THIS news item on Deadline this morning, announcing that Chiwetel Ejiofor has left ICM Partners and signed with CAA, and almost missed the blurb at the very end of it stating that the revered thespian is currently adapting William Kamkwamba’s book The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.
News to me; we certainly haven’t reported it, so consider this your notice.
I remember first writing about William Kamkwamba back in 2009, during the early S&A days, on the old site. It was about a year ago when we learned and announced that, after much publicity, a book, and even a TED talk, he’s was going to be the focus of a feature length documentary titled Moving Windmills.
The film, now titled William and the Windmill, is currently in post-production, with an expected premiere date this year.
A brief recap of his story…
When he was just 14 years old, Malawian William Kamkwamba built his family an electricity-generating windmill from spare parts, working from rough plans he found in a library book. Thanks to the attention he received around the world for his efforts, he co-wrote a book about the experience, encouraging global investment in alternate natural energy sources. The book titled, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, was published in 2009, and you can find it on sites like Amazon.
The upcoming documentary film follows William from this early invention to present day; the filmmakers (Ben Nabors and Tom Rielly) say that they’ve been working with and following William for almost 5 years now. Principal photography was finished in late 2011, and the filmmakers took to Kickstarter to raise finishing funds necessary to complete post-production. And as of January of last year, they were able to raise almost 3 times what they asked for! Their original campaign was to raise $40,000; they ended up raising over $111,000! Nice! Obviously support was strong with this one.
I should mention that there was actually a short film version of William’s story, also made by Nabors and Rielly, which played the film festival circuit in 2008 and won a number of awards, which I’m sure all helped in the production of the feature doc. I imagine it’ll likely premiering on the film festival circuit.
As for Chiwetel Ejiofor’s scripted fictional adaptation of Kamkwamba’s book, no word on where exactly it stands currently, or when we can expect to see it. I also wonder what his role in it will be – assuming he even acts in it. He certainly can’t play William Kamkwamba, who’s 25 years old.
But stay tuned… now that we’re aware of it, we’ll be watching…