Fort Scott, Kan.—Filmmaker Kevin Willmott will be the recipient of the “Gordon Parks Choice of Weapons Award” at the annual Gordon Parks Celebration, which will be held November 3-5 in Fort Scott, Kan. The Gordon Parks Celebration, a component of the Gordon Parks Museum/Center, was created in 2004 by Fort Scott Community College to honor Fort Scott native Gordon Parks, noted photographer, writer, musician, and filmmaker.
At the culmination of the first year’s events, the Choice of Weapons Award was established in Parks’ honor to be given annually at the Celebration. Named after his autobiography of the same name, the award seeks to honor a recipient who excelled in one of the areas that Gordon Parks did and who exemplifies the spirit and strength of character of Gordon Parks.
Previous recipients include actor and musician Avery Brooks, photographer Howard L. Bingham, Elizabeth Eckford and Ernest Green, two of the “Little Rock Nine,” Richard Roundtree, star of the Parks-directed film, “Shaft,” Nichelle Nichols of “Star Trek” fame, acclaimed actress Ruby Dee, photographer John Shearer, LIFE magazine photo editor Bobbi Burrows, Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker, musicians Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., and Genevieve Young.
“We are so pleased to honor Kevin this year,” said Jill Warford, Gordon Parks Museum Director. “He is a filmmaker like Gordon and he is building a legacy of creating and directing films that have social impact on our society and give us cause to think about many issues.”
Willmott is a Professor in the Media and Film Studies Department of Kansas University. He co-wrote and is the Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed film, Chi-Raq, directed by Spike Lee. The film is on numerous best of 2015 lists including best film and best screenplay by The New Yorker Magazine. Read more