It was another glorious night on Saturday when The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind scooped an award at the 51stNational Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (Naacp) Image Awards.
The Malawian Hollywood-produced film shrugged off competition from Jordan Peele’s Us, Kasi Lemmon’s Harriet, Mati Diop’s Atlantics and Reginald Hudlin’s portrayal of The Black Godfather to emerge winner of Outstanding Directing in a Motion picture category.
The United States-based awards honour the accomplishments of people of colour in the fields of television, music, literature and film. The announcement of the winners was made on Friday at a preliminary dinner and a live airing from Pasadena in California followed on Saturday.
The Naacp award is the sixth for the film produced by America’s Chiwetol Ejiefor and is an adaptation of a novel written by Malawian innovator and engineer William Kamkwamba who gained prominence after constructing a turbine to power electricity.
The film has also scooped awards in the Black Reel awards British Independent Film awards, Heartland Film awards, Sundance Film Festival awards and The Golden Globe awards.
In a previous interview with HFPA, the film’s producer Chiwetol said when he read the book by Kamkwamba, he noticed its power and inspiration. He said the story has potential to be an inspirational experience.
He said: “William’s journey was so remarkable for a person of that age, 13, in those circumstances, amongst this famine, to have this kind of tenacity, strength of spirit, ingenuity, intellect, all those things.
“But I felt that the film had to be very specific. It had to be about this family, about these dynamics, the people, the very rich cultural, spiritual, engaged, extraordinary place that Malawi is.
“It had to feel like an authentic experience, that is why we shot the film in Malawi and in the local language, Chichewa.”
The film, which was shot in many parts of the country, most notably in Kasungu where Kamkwamba set his story features some Malawian actors such as Lily Banda, Kelvin Ngoma and Hope Chisanu, among others.
Reacting to the development, Ngoma said in an interview: “The movie was exceptionally done. When I learnt of this news, it was almost a sweet surprise to me. The film is doing great things I would say.”
The first Naacp awads ceremony took place 52 years ago on August 13 1967.
Here is the list of winners:
Outstanding Directing in a Motion picture: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Actress in a motion picture: Lupita Nyong’o
Outstanding Music Video: Juice by Lizzo
Outstanding female Artist: Beyonce
Outstanding Talk Series: Red Table by Jada Pinkett-Smith.