KU Assistant Professor of Film Kevin Willmott is making a movie about the Jayhawks' 1957 run to the NCAA men's national championship basketball game. And, like just about every artist these days, he's looking to Kickstarter for help.
Jayhawkers will star current KU forward Justin Wesley playing Wilt Chamberlain on the team that fell to North Carolina in triple overtime at Municipal Auditorium. KU grad Kip Niven will play coach Phog Allen.
Willmott's previous films include CSA: The Confederate States of America and The Only Good Indian, both of which premiered at Sundance. He says the movie will make the connection between the Jayhawkers of the Civil War and race in Kansas in the 1950s and '60s. Filming is set to begin August 15 in Lawrence.
"One of the things we're very excited about is the look of the film," Willmott says in a video pitching his project. "We're going to be shooting in black and white, and we hope to make the film look like a lot of the old photographs you see of this period of college basketball."
The Kickstarter for Jayhawkers is in rough shape. Time to donate expires August 2, and $9,674 of the sought $50,000 have been contributed. Only $10,000 gets you a producer credit.