KU professor Kevin Willmott wins Oscar for best adapted screenplay

photo by: Jordan Strauss/Invision via AP

David Rabinowitz, from left, Charlie Wachtel, and Kevin Willmott, winners of the award for best adapted screenplay for "BlacKkKlansman", pose in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

University of Kansas professor Kevin Willmott has won an Oscar for his contribution to the film “BlacKkKlansman.”

Willmott, who co-wrote the film with Spike Lee, won the best adapted screenplay award during the 91st Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

Willmott is at least the second Oscar winner with a connection to KU, said Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, a spokeswoman for the university. William Inge, who graduated from KU in 1935, won a screenplay writing Oscar for the film “Splendor in the Grass” during the 34th Academy Awards ceremony in 1962.

Lee and Willmott won the award over the writers of the films “A Star is Born,” “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Can you Ever Forgive Me?” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” They also won the British Academy Film and Television Arts award, also known as BAFTA, in the same category earlier this month.

Set in the mid-1970s, “BlacKkKlansman” is based on the memoir of Ron Stallworth, a black police officer in Colorado Springs who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan.

The film was nominated for a total of six Oscars, including best picture, film editing and original score. Actor Adam Driver was nominated for best actor in a supporting role. Lee was nominated for directing.

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