Netflix buys global rights to Nigerian-British actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor's new movie

The American movie streaming platform has acquired "The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind" for an undisclosed amount.

Netflix acquires Nigerian-British actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor's movie

This film is the directorial debut of the Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner, who is well known for his role in ‘12 Years a Slave’.

All about Ejiofor's new movie

Based on a book of the same title by Malawian innovator William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, it focuses on the life of Kamkwamba.


It opens with the 13-year-old protagonist, who has just been thrown out of the school due to his family's inability to pay his fees.

Motivated by the famine in his village, he teaches himself to create his own windmill with the knowledge gotten from books he studies when he sneaks into school.

He ends up transforming his village with the mill made from local materials like the bones of his father's bicycle.


According to the American movie streaming platform, "The film highlights the power of education and individual determination to change the trajectory of a life," and inspires audiences to "imagine a future where every child, in every village, has access to knowledge and to opportunities to put that knowledge to work".

Ejiofor says this drive is exactly what made him do the movie. In his words, "William's story represents, what has to be, the future in countries like Malawi: developing countries, overflowing with beauty and harbouring enormous potential. A global story, such as this, requires a global platform and I'm thrilled to be working with Netflix on bringing William's extraordinary tale of determination and inventiveness to audiences worldwide."

For Jonathan King, the President of Film and Television for Participant Media, this story needs to be told, adding that he is really excited to be working with the Nigerian-British actor.

He said, "Chiwetel brings incredible passion and skill as a filmmaker to this moving and impactful story about a young boy who uses his heart and mind equally to help better his community. We need this kind of story now more than ever, and we're excited to continue the partnership with Netflix that started with Beasts of No Nation and continued with ROMA to bring this new film to audiences around the world."

"The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind" was scripted by Ejiofor and shot in Malawi. The cast includes Maxwell Simba acting as 13-year-old Kamwamba, Lemogang Tsipa, Philbert Falakeza, Joseph Marcell,  and Noma Dumezweni.


It will be released on Netflix in 2019. It will also be shown in select theatres in the U.S. and the UK.

Ejiofor joins Genevieve Nnaji on the growing list of Nigerians with Netflix deals.


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