Still from 'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.' Photo by Ilze Kitshoff, courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Chiwetel Ejiofor Speaks On His Directorial Debut Ahead of Its Premiere at Sundance

Here's what we learned from his conversation with Variety magazine.

This year's edition of the Sundance Film Festival kicks off today. One of the four films helmed by African directors is coming from Nigerian-British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor with The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind—his highly-anticipated directorial debut that's set to premiere tomorrow, January 25.

Ejiofor brought Malawian inventor William Kamkwamba's remarkable story to the big screen, where we follow 13-year-old Kamkwamba (Maxwell Simba) and his journey to saving his community from famine by building a windmill using his father's bike parts. Along with Ejiofor, who plays Kamkwamba's father in the film, the cast includes Lily Banda, Noma Dumezweni, Aissa Maiga, Joseph Marcell, Philbert Falakeza and Lemogang Tsipa.

The actor sat down with Variety with his producer Andrea Calderwood to speak in-depth about his intentions and creative process when making the film.

Still from 'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.' Photo by Ilze Kitshoff, courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Here are some gems from Ejiofor that stood out to us from the interview below, which you can read in full here.

On challenging the idea of shooting the Malawi-set film outside of Malawi

"It just didn't seem plausible to me. There was no way that we could shoot the film anywhere else. For me, it was really a question of diving in feet first and just seeing what happens."

On locking in Kenya's own Maxwell Simba to play the lead role

"When I saw him on tape, I was sort of stunned by him. He had a great minimalist quality and could communicate all of these emotions very simply, which is actually a technically difficult thing to do. He seemed to be doing that very effortlessly."

Calderwood on Ejiofor's natural directing chops

"Like all great actors, he's really absorbed a lot of the process. He's confident enough in his own role as a director and an actor to be able to take on board all the collaboration that people had to offer."

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind has been picked up by Netflix and will become available to stream on the platform in 2019, with a select theater run in the U.S. and in the U.K.

Photo credits: Deeds Art

Tems Is Just Doing Her Thang In New Music Video 'Crazy Tings'

The Nigerian songstress is hell bent on taking over your summer playlist and it's getting harder to resist.

It has been a fantastic year for Tems. The Nigerian singer, producer, and songwriter achieved a platinum record for eternal banger Essence, her collaboration with fellow Nigerian superstar Wizkid, an MTV EMA nomination for Best African Artist, a billion worldwide video views, and over 350 million audio streams. Not to mention featuring on Canadian rapper Drake's blowout album Certified Lover Boy, the singer has also sold out every show she's booked.

The release of Tems's sophomore EP If Orange Was a Place solidified her place amongst the greats and it was received with gusto by fans and international audiences. A month after the release the Afrobeats singer has graced fans with a sultry music video to go along with equally as tantalizing lead single Crazy Tings. Conceptualized by the multitalented Tems, and directed by UAX, the music video follows a sensual Tems as she sings about needing space from a lying partner.

International audiences continue to rave over the songstress, with Tems delivering an impressive US TV debut on late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! this month. Essence continues to top international charts. While becoming the official song of the summer, the track peaked on the Billboard 100 Top 10, becoming the most Shazamed song in the United States and was remixed by Canadian musical heavyweight Justin Bieber, becoming the first song written by Nigerian artists to hit No.1 on Urban Radio.

Tems has been producing consistent hits since her debut in September 2020, and a year later, the singer's immense talent is securing her reputation as a world-class superstar.

Check out Tem's music video for single 'Crazy Tings' below

Tems - Crazy Tings (Official Video)

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