Montclair Film Montclair, NJ


Eric Roston


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind— How innovation can lead to a sustainable future for our planet

Students from Renaissance Middle School will engage in a discussion with Eric Roston to explore how inventions that harness wind power can help combat climate change and create a more sustainable future for our planet. The group will discuss other clean energy innovations and brainstorm ways to incorporate sustainable practices in everyday life.

Montclair Film Montclair, NJ

Film Synopsis

A boy in Malawi helps save his village from famine by building a wind turbine after reading about them in a library book.

Young William Kamkwamba 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 (Chiwetel 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. This inspiring true story about the powers of science, engineering, ingenuity, and determination is based on Kamkwamba's 2009 memoir of the same name.

Banner image courtesy of PHOTOFEST

About the Speaker

Eric Roston is an award-winning journalist who has spent more than 15 years covering climate change in all its incarnations—from science, to technology, finance, business, and government. Since 2011 he has served as Sustainability Editor for Bloomberg News, at first developing and overseeing a site devoted to the topic. He has returned to writing stories, graphics, and video since 2015, including several that have circled the world and won awards or drawn significant critical attention.