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After ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Oscar, Willmott turns to another minority cause: Gay Kansans

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Kansas City Star | Robert W. Butler

Kevin Willmott has made a career out of making movies that examine race in America: “Ninth Street,” “C.S.A.,” “Jayhawkers,” “Destination: Planet Negro” and, most recently, “BlacKkKlansman,” which won him an Academy Award for screenwriting this year.

So his new project, “No Place Like Home,” a documentary about being gay in Kansas, might seem well out of his comfort zone. It’s based on C.J. Janovy’s 2018 nonfiction book about LGBT activism in the Sunflower State.

But going from African American issues to those of LGBT people actually isn’t that great a leap, Willmott said. They’re another minority.

“What really attracted me was how the book reflected my own life out in western Kansas,” said Willmott, who grew up in Junction City and now lives in Lawrence. “You take for granted these stories about what gay people go through living in small towns — there have been times when I was the only black person in a town — but C.J. put a human face on it.”

Willmott now has his choice of projects since winning the Oscar for the Spike Lee film. “It’s kind of amazing to discover just who knows you now,” he said. “I’ve got more work than I know what to do with.” Read more



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