TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Oscar-award-winning screenwriter and Kansas native Kevin Willmott will serve as the master of ceremonies for the Inaugural Ball in honor of Governor Laura Kelly, Lieutenant Governor David Toland, and other statewide elected officials on Sunday, Jan. 8. 

The Kelly-Toland Inaugural Committee made the announcement this week.

Wilmott, who grew up in Junction City, is a successful filmmaker, screenwriter and director. He directed several award-winning productions, including “BlacKkKlansman,” which won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2019

“I am thrilled that Kevin Willmott will join us for the Inaugural Ball as the emcee to mark this next great chapter in our state’s history,” said Kelly. “Kevin has not only used his talent in filmmaking to bring to light many important issues impacting our country, but has brought his this talent back to his home state as a professor at the University of Kansas to educate the next generation of filmmakers, screenwriters, and directors.” 

Willmott attended Marymount College in Salina. He is a professor at the University of Kansas, where he teaches Film and Media Studies. 

“It is an honor to join Kansans from across the state to celebrate Governor Laura Kelly, Lieutenant Governor David Toland, and this historic moment in Kansas,” Willmott said. “I have spent my career using film to shine a light on injustices in communities across our country, and I know Governor Kelly is a leader for all Kansans. I look forward to hosting an evening of celebration for our great state.”  

For more information on the Inaugural Ball and other events, click here.