Sundance summons filmmakers
A satirical film on slavery created by two KU professors has been selected
as an official entry in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 15 through
25, 2004, in Park City, Utah.
Willmott is the writer, producer and director for CSA: Confederate States
of America and Matt Jacobson, the cinematographer. Both are assistant
professors in KU’s theatre and film department. They premiered an
earlier version of the film in Lawrence in February.
CSA uses a faux documentary style to examine what the United States would
be like if the South had won the Civil War. The film was selected for
the American Spectrum
category at Sundance. The dates and times Sundance will show CSA will
be announced later.
This is Willmott’s first invitation to Sundance and Jacobson’s
second consecutive year in the competition at the Sundance festival, regarded
as the foremost showcase for American independent films. Past festivals
have included films that have charted the history of independent cinema
such as Sex, Lies and Videotape, Hoop Dreams, The Full Monty, Shine, The
Blair Witch Project and In the Bedroom.
Willmott, who grew up in Junction City, described his satire as probably
the most controversial film never to have sex, nudity or violence, due
to the topic—slavery. In CSA, slavery is alive and well in modern
“The South lost the war, but they sold us on their way of life—segregating
the races,” Willmott said. He posed questions to support his premise:
“How did Kansas, a free state, become segregated? Or how did Lawrence,
a city founded by abolitionists, become segregated? Why is it the Topeka
Board of Education case? You would think it would be the Mississippi Board
of Education case.”
Willmott hopes festivals such as Sundance will help him sell the film
for distribution to theatres throughout the country.
Willmott’s previous films include Ninth Street, winner of the Independent
Film Channel Award and based on Willmott’s experiences growing up
in Junction City.