Kansas filmaker talks race and ownership at Washburn University

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TOPEKA (WIBW)--- A Kansas filmmaker visited Washburn University to talk about race, history and taking ownership.

Critically acclaimed director and screenwriter Kevin Willmott spoke to an audience Thursday night. He says he wants people to talk honestly about race and not be afraid of it.

Willmott's films deal with the issue of race in America, from Chi-Raq to BlacKKKlansman. He worked with Spike Lee on the latter, for which they received this year's Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

"Film is a great vehicle to kind of let people understand history," Willmott said. "A lot of the times the history we haven't dealt with or kind of forgotten or really haven't explored it the way we really need to explore it. A lot of my films specifically deal with history. What my movies always try to encourage in various ways is to take ownership and a lot of times I believe history owns us and we don't own the history."

Willmott also teaches at KU. He says there is a supply of great stories that are never told.