Real-life stories don’t get much more remarkable than that of William Kamkwamaba, a young Malawian who rescued his family from famine by constructing a power-generating windmill from junk parts. Kamkwamaba related his story in the 2009 bestseller The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and he is now the subject of the SXSW-screening documentary William and the Windmill from director Ben Nabors, which details both his original story and his subsequent brush with fame.
The film has been gifted a beautiful new poster, which you can exclusively see above, from designer Jim Pascoe and Paul Pope, the acclaimed writer-artist whose credits include 2006’s award-winning Batman: Year 100. “Ben’s film is complex and layered and even ambiguous, it’s more about the journey of this kid into adulthood and international status, and the film questions some of the nuances and traps of success and patronage and responsibility,” says Pope, via email. “Going in to it, we were planning to go for a 60s handmade sort of Saul Bass by way of myself-style design, relying on a strong, limited palette graphic design for the iconic imagery…literally, William depicted hanging onto the side of the windmill, fixing the windmill, a sort of meshing of these two, like a young boy trying to pilot a clipper ship all by himself. It should have a fantastic, almost science fiction feel. The colors for the prominent windmill/William elements were done as hand separations in sumi ink, which is why they have a nice sort of out-of-register organic quality. Jim’s type design looks great, a very simple and clean contrast to the organic art.”
William and the Windmill has its world premiere at SXSW this coming Sunday. You can see both an exclusive clip from the film and the movie’s trailer below.