Willmott "Destination: Planet Negro!" screening set for Feb. 16

Thu, 02/14/2013

Contact

Megan Schmidt
KU News Service
785-864-8853

LAWRENCE — In the face of Jim Crow-era violence and intimidation, many African-Americans living in southern states headed to northern cities, hoping to find new homes free from oppression.

In the new film directed by KU film professor Kevin Willmott, “Destination: Planet Negro!,” they leave Earth entirely.

The first screening of “Destination: Planet Negro!” will be 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St. Tickets are $7 for the public and free for film cast and crew members.  

Willmott’s latest project centers on a group of African-Americans living in the Jim Crow era who devise a plan to travel to and populate the planet Mars.

“The idea of African-Americans trying to find a new homeland has been a big discussion in history,” Willmott said. “For example, there was talk of turning the state of Oklahoma into a black state at one point.”

In “Destination: Planet Negro!” the three-person crew of African-Americans rocketing off to Mars is “taking that concept to the next level,” said Willmott, adding that the film is a comedy/satire.

Willmott is an accomplished screenwriter and director whose prior works include  “C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America,” about how U.S. history could have played out, had the South won the Civil War, as well as “The Only Good Indian,” the story of a Native American boy forced to assimilate into white culture. Both films were screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

Saturday’s “Destination: Planet Negro!” screening is a fundraiser for the construction of a new building for the Department of Film & Media Studies, Willmott said.

“It’s a great film to see during Black History Month, because it shows how far African-Americans have come, but also how far we need to go,” he said.

It stars KU graduates Tosin Morohunfola and Danielle Cooper, as well as Willmott.

A question-and-answer session with Willmott will follow the screening.

The film is not scheduled for any other screenings yet, but Willmott is working to get “Destination Planet Negro!” shown during upcoming film festivals in New York and California.



It’s KU Family Weekend and there's a lot happening on the Hill. Take a look at some of the events on campus – all Jayhawks are welcome to join. FRIDAY - 1:30 pm: Tee off for the 2014 Gale Sayers and Scot Pollard Golf Classic at Alvamar Country Club, benefiting KU School of Education - 7:30 pm: School of Music 15th Annual Collage Concert at the Lied Center - 7:30 pm: SUA Campus Movie Series – The Parent Trap (1998) in Woodruff Auditorium at the Union SATURDAY - 7:30 am: 2014 Dr. Bob Run 5K Event - 9 am: Marching Band’s Band Day kicks off with a parade running 7th Street to South Park (followed by massed band rehearsal in Memorial Stadium) - 12:00 pm: School of Engineering Family Day kicks off in the Eaton Hall Atrium - 12:30 pm: Official KU Weekend Family Tailgate - 12:30 pm: Party on the Patio at the School of Education - 2:30 pm: ROCK CHALK JAYHAWKS! BEAT CENTRAL MICHIGAN! - 7:30 pm: SUA Campus Movie Series – The Parent Trap (1998) in Woodruff Auditorium at the Union SUNDAY - 7:30 pm: SUA Campus Movie Series – The Parent Trap (1998) in Woodruff Auditorium at the Union More information on all KU Family Weekend events: http://bit.ly/1qcsGFb
KU Goldwater Scholar to research Huntingon’s, Alzheimer’s diseases Ryan Limbocker, KU’s 56th Goldwater Scholar, plans to focus his research at KU on such neurodegenerative disorders as Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s diseases (see more at http://bit.ly/1nIP2bL). Limbocker, a senior majoring in chemistry, is from Overland Park, Kansas, and plans to pursue a doctorate in analytical chemistry. The Goldwater Scholarships are the nation’s premier undergraduate awards to honor academically gifted students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times