A t least 1 000 Malawians will watch Hollywood Malawian-inspired movie, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, courtesy of the United States (US) Embassy at a local screening scheduled to take place on Sunday in partnership with Participant Media.
The local screening, the first in Africa, will be at the Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc), two days after the film premieres globally on Netflix, the world’s leading Internet entertainment service, today.
US-trained Malawian engineer William Kamkwamba, from whose true-life story of a wind turbine invention which saved people in his village in Wimbe, Kasungu the movie was derived, will also attend the local screening.
US Embassy public affairs officer Douglas Johnston, in an interview, said the screening has been organised because the themes of the movie such as food security, promoting resilience, investing in primary and secondary education, better access to education in rural areas, increased opportunities for young entrepreneurs and small businesses and promoting Science, Technology and Mathematics (Stem), especially among girls and boys, are all objectives shared by the US Mission in Malawi.
“Secondly, because of the unique American angles to this story, many people do not realise that the books that William found as a child and that inspired him to build his windmill had been supplied by the US Government to that school library in Wimbe.
“Also, William went on to get his undergraduate degree at the prestigious American University Dartmouth,” he said.
Johnston said it is also important that the first public screening of the film in Africa is taking place in Malawi because Kamkwamba’s story is local, adding that other local screenings are being planned.
“We are closely communicating with William and Participant Media to organise screenings in several different locations in Malawi, such as his home district of Kasungu. Our intention is to be sure that the movie reaches a wide range of Malawians, of varying ages, geographic regions, and both rural and urban dwellers,” he said.
As one way of reaching out to the public to be part of the screening, the embassy ran a social media promotion on its Twitter and Facebook pages to offer 100 free entry tickets to its followers.
Apart from the fans, another set of audience for the screening will include government officials, members of civil society organisations (CSOs) and friends of the US Embassy in Malawi.