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KU professor reflects one year after Oscar win

Sunday, February 9, 2020

KSHB Kansas City | Jordan Betts

LAWRENCE, Kan. — It's a moment Kevin Willmott will never forget.

On Feb. 24, 2019, the KU professor and screenwriter won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for "BlacKkKlansman".

He won along with writer/director Spike Lee.

"You kind of get the feeling of how fortunate you are that this happened to you," Willmott said.

While some might change their approach after that caliber of a win, Willmott is not one of them.

"I don't pay much attention to it,” Willmott said. “Occasionally, I kind of go, ‘Yeah, I guessed that happened.’ But most days you are back in the grind.”

And that grind is teaching screenwriting classes at the University of Kansas. His students, like Lourdes Kalusha-Aguirre, said the Oscar win is inspiring.

"Being on stage, accepting that award made it a lot closer to me and thinking like wow somebody from Kansas can make it in that sense," Kalusha-Aguirre said.

While helping the next generation of writers, the Academy Award winner continues to add to his own resume.

"Wrote another movie with Spike. It's called ‘Da Five Bloods,’" Willmott said. "That's about black soldiers in Vietnam."

That just scratches the surface for him. Read more

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