I remember first writing about this kid back in 2009, during the early S&A days, on the old site. And now, after much publicity, a book, and even a TED talk, he’s now the focus of a feature length documentary.
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.
We featured the Kickstarter campaign for the project over a year ago, while the film was still in development, and, a year+ later, the feature film will make its World Premiere at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival next month, under the title William and the Windmill.
The filmmaker (Ben Nabors) said that he’d been working with and following William for almost 4 years, with principal photography ending in 2011, which is around when the filmmaker took to Kickstarter to raise finishing funds necessary to complete post-production, raising well over the $40,000 goal, ending up with over $111,000!
Nice! Obviously support was strong with this one.
Here’s an official synopsis:
William Kamkwamba, a young Malawian, builds a power-generating windmill from junk parts to rescue his family from famine, transforming his life and catapulting him on to the the world stage. His fame and success lead him to new opportunities and complex choices about his future, distancing him from the life he once knew.
By the way, I should mention that there was actually a short film version of William’s story, also made by Nabors, 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 film.
Also worth noting, Chiwetel Ejiofor is currently adapting William Kamkwamba’s book The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, in a completely unrelated, though complimentary project.
The first official trailer for Nabors’ William and the Windmill has surfaced and is embedded below: