'The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind' Trailer: Chiwetel Ejiofor Makes His Directorial Debut With An Inspiring True Story

Chiwetel Ejiofor makes his feature directorial debut with The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the inspiring true story of a 13-year-old boy who develops a method to, as the title says, "harness the wind" to bring water to his famine-struck village in Malawi. See The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind trailer below.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Trailer

"It's not a dream, Papa," pleads 13-year-old William Kamkwamba, played by newcomer Maxwell Simba in this new trailer for Netflix's The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. "I'm not dreaming."

William Kamkwamba would go on to become a Malawian innovator and engineer after he rose to fame in 2007 for building a wind turbine that would bring electricity to his family farm during a life-threatening drought. Kamkwamba wrote a memoir of his moving true story, which has now been adapted by Ejiofor in his directorial debut.

Directing seems like the logical next step for the BAFTA-winning actor who broke out in a major way after his Oscar-nominated performance in Steve McQueen's 2012 film 12 Years a Slave, but that doesn't mean he's giving up acting. Ejiofor co-stars as William's father in The Boy Who Harnessed the WindAïssa Maïga and Lily Banda also star.

Here's the Sundance synopsis for The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind:

"Young William Kamkwamba (Simba) lives with his family in rural Malawi, where he attends school regularly and shows great aptitude for his studies. Yet after land development and poor weather lead to a meager harvest, famine strikes the village, alarming the community and forcing William to drop out of school when his father (Ejiofor) can no longer afford the fees. Determined to find a way out of the life-threatening situation his family is facing, William sneaks into the school library to research—and soon conspires to build a windmill pump to irrigate the land. Caught between his father's close-minded skepticism and the difficulty of creating a machine out of bicycle parts and scrap materials, William races against the clock to fight for his community's survival."

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival today before it debuts on Netflix on March 1, 2019.