Writing about Race, History, America and the Urgency of Now
Willmott will discuss writing Blackkklansman, Da 5 Bloods, Jayhawkers, and CSA Confederate States of America. Exploring what these films say about our lives as Americans and how writing can create a more democratic nation.
Kevin Willmott won an Academy Award and the BAFTA (British Academy award) for co-writing with Spike Lee the feature film Blackkklansman. The film also won the Grand Prix at the Cannes film Festival.
He also co-wrote and is the Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed film, Chi-Raq also directed by Spike Lee. The film is on numerous “Best of 2015” lists, including best film and best screenplay by The New Yorker Magazine.
Award winning Films written and directed by Willmott include Ninth Street, CSA-Confederate States of America, the Battle for Bunker Hill, Jayhawkers, and Destination Planet Negro. Documentaries directed by Willmott include: From Separate to Equal: The Creation of Truman Medical Center, Gordon Parks Elementary, Fast Break: The Legendary Coach John Mclendon, and William Allen White: What’s the Matter with Kansas.
He co-wrote with Spike Lee the feature film, Da 5 Bloods for Netflix. He recently co-wrote and directed the feature film The 24th, about the Houston Riot of 1917.
Willmott grew up in Junction City, Kansas, and attended Marymount College, receiving his BA in Drama. After graduation, he returned home, working as a peace and civil rights activist, fighting for the rights of the poor, creating two Catholic Worker shelters for the homeless, and forcing the integration of several long-standing segregated institutions. He attended graduate studies at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, receiving several writing awards and his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing. Willmott is a Professor in the Media and Film Studies Department of Kansas University.