Just before it was released on Netflix the film The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind was shown at the Dominion Cinema. The screening was organised by the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP) as part of a cultural celebration between the two countries.
The film tells the story of William and his against the odds triumph against adversity and was adapted from the book by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.
It was filmed in Kasungu in Malawi and features Chichewan dialogue. The SMP hope it could lead to new conversations about sustainable investment in business and tourism in Malawi.
Wiliam Kamkwamba recorded a special video message shown at the screening attended by producer Andrea Calderwood. She said : “Chiwetel Ejiofor was inspired by William Kamkwamba’s powerful story to make this film as his directorial debut.
“We’ve been delighted at the way audiences at the Sundance and Berlin Films Festivals have responded to the beautiful film we were able to make with our team in Malawi, and very pleased that the Scotland-Malawi partnership is giving audiences in Scotland a chance to experience the film on the big screen in advance of its global Netflix launch on 1 March 2019.
“With its strongly emotional story and urgent theme of unleashing the potential of young people everywhere by access to education, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a film that can connect people around the world.”
A live panel discussion about renewable energy and community resilience in Scotland Malawi cooperation followed the screening. They also showed two short films, one featuring Dame Kelly Holmes talking about her recent visit to Malawi and one featuring Brewgooder, the craft brewer which generates funding for clean water in Malawi.
David Hope-Jones, Chief Executive of the SMP, said: “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to host this special Scottish Screening of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. William Kamkwamba’s incredible true story has been inspiring Scots and Malawians for more than a decade; it’s wonderful to see it come to life in this major feature film. This is a story of dignity, resilience, youth leadership and community action – all of which we see today in the thousands of people-to-people links Scotland enjoys with Malawi.”
Supported by The Scottish Government the SMP also hosted its National Youth Congress at the McEwan Hall.