Friday, July 6, 2012

'Jayhawkers' on Kickstarter

I'm not in the habit of pimping my friends' work, as a rule, but my former Lawrence Journal-World colleague Jon Niccum contacted me to let me know about a movie project he's working on—one that's crowdsourcing its funding from Kickstarter.

The movie is called "Jayhawkers," and yes it's got some University of Kansas stuff going on, but it also sounds pretty cool. It tells the story of how Wilt Chamberlain went to KU—changing not only college basketball, but helping alter race relations in Lawrence, Kan.:
The movie’s emotional climax comes during the triple overtime 1957 National Championship bout between the Jayhawks and their bitter rivals from The University of North Carolina, a game that is decided in the final seconds, and one that has been called the greatest in college history.

Jayhawkers tells the powerful fable of how a small group of unlikely allies modernized college sports and changed a small Midwestern town, serving as a parallel to the Civil Rights movement that would transform an entire American society.
The director is Kevin Wilmott, who is on faculty at KU, but who has also done a fair amount of film work—including the acclaimed movie "CSA: The Confederate States of America" that reimagined American life as if the Confederates had won the Civil War.

The producers are trying to raise $50,000 in production costs. I've pledged a little bit; if you think the movie or its production team sound interesting, they can use the help. The deadline is Aug. 2.

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