MNU news

Oscar-winning Filmmaker to Screen New Project at MNU March 18

William Allen White at desk; Kevin Willmott
University News

Olathe, Kansas—Kevin Willmott, film director, Oscar-winning screenwriter and professor of film and media studies at the University of Kansas will screen his new documentary William Allen White: What’s the Matter with Kansas at MNU’s Bell Center, March 18 at 7 p.m. The public is invited to this free event.

Willmott’s documentary is about William Allen White, the Emporia Gazette editor credited with blocking the Ku Klux Klan in Kansas. Willmott will talk about the making of the film and White’s legacy, including his campaign for governor of Kansas in 1924 to spread his anti-Klan message to a broader state and national audience.

Willmott, Spike Lee and two other screenwriters just won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, a movie about a real-life cop in the 1970s who undercover infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. The film has won numerous awards and nominations and received international acclaim.

Willmott is known for his work surrounding black issues and in addition to teaching, writes prolifically for film and television. Growing up in Junction City, Kansas he earned his BA in Drama from Marymount College in Salina, Kansas. After graduation, he returned home and worked 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.

The screening of William Allen White: What’s the Matter with Kansas will conclude with discussion by Willmott and questions from the audience. It is sponsored by the MNU Diversity Advisory Council and Mabee Learning Commons.

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