Like so many actors before him, what Chiwetel Ejiofor really wants to do is direct. Now, with Sundance entry “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” the Oscar-nominated “12 Years a Slave” star has done just that. As part of the film’s unveiling in Park City, Ejiofor stopped by the IndieWire Studio, presented by Dropbox, to discuss the ways in which diversity has expanded the conversation in Hollywood and beyond.
“I think it’s a very exciting time for diversity in cinema. Of course, all these different perspectives from very powerful media industries and these different points of view actually affect the nature and the psychology of the societies that we’re all in, and that’s been part of the problem — that when things are related from only one point of view, that it kind of shuts down the conversation across the board in a cultural context,” he said.
“People don’t have genuine, authentic references from different places, different communities, different people’s point of view, or their lives,” Ejiofor added. “You can see it in the way that ‘Roma’ has kind of electrified a whole conversation about so many different things, you know, that just wouldn’t be possible without having people inside of those stories relating their experiences, telling their truths, and then the wider community can embrace and engage in those conversations.”
Ejiofor also stars in the film alongside Maxwell Simba, Lily Banda, and Noma Dumezweni; Simba plays William Kamkwamba, on whose book the movie is based. Netflix will release “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” later this year.
Watch an excerpt of Ejiofor’s discussion with IndieWire below.