By Chuck Hoskin Jr.
Guest review. Oklahoma is fast becoming one of the most sought after states for movies. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce said film and television is a vital industry for the state and will be a boon to communities and small businesses.
We are already seeing this in the Cherokee Nation. We are proud to be at the forefront of this emerging industry through the efforts of the Cherokee Nation Film Office.
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Since becoming the first certified Native American Film Commission to open in the United States in 2019, the Cherokee Nation Film Office has continued to break down barriers and bring significant transformation to Indian Country. We recently officially opened Cherokee Film Studios in Owasso, a state-of-the-art facility that is already producing a wide range of projects from Cherokee Nation and other filmmakers.
Growing film and television opportunities within the Cherokee Nation reservation create new avenues for Native people to join the industry and ensure that authentic Native stories are seen on screens large and small. The Film Office has even created a unique and comprehensive directory of Native American talent, crews and consultants for all projects looking to hire Native talent.
Together, we are changing the narrative of Indigenous peoples and our culture by correcting many years of harmful misrepresentations and stereotypes. We bring much-needed diversity to the film industry and give Indigenous writers, directors, actors and other creative talent the chance to share our stories with the world.
Last month saw the world premiere of “Land of Gold”. It is the first feature film to be produced at Cherokee Film Studios. With at least 10 productions currently planning to shoot in our studios or on our reservation, Cherokee Nation is already a center of the film and television industry in Oklahoma.
Projects under Cherokee Film Studios advance many of our goals as a tribe, including efforts to preserve and revitalize the Cherokee language by creating films, cartoons, and other media that bring our language and culture to a new generation.
At the height of the pandemic, our state-of-the-art sound stage significantly bolstered the Cherokee Nation’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts by helping us communicate vital messages to keep Cherokee citizens healthy and connected. Because we couldn’t travel or meet in large groups, we created new ways to stay in touch with our people around the world – sharing history, culture and the latest news in virtual outreach broadcasts community and cultural, as well as by organizing a national tribal autonomy. conference.
The exciting entertainment boom is another great example of how tribal nations, state and local communities coming together for common goals is a win-win situation for all Cherokees and Oklahomans. Our business and economic growth creates jobs and profits that are then reinvested to support public education, community organizations, culture and the arts. These in turn fuel the cultural creativity that any successful film and television industry needs.
Through Cherokee Nation’s collaboration with great organizations, such as Oklahoma State University, Rogers State University, and state and city film offices, we are developing new skills for our citizens and helping them seek out opportunities. career in a growing field.
We can expect to see even more opportunity and innovation from the Cherokee Nation Film Office and our talented and creative workforce. With the extraordinary accomplishments of our film office, as well as the opening of its film studios, Cherokee Nation is poised to become the premier filmmaking location in Oklahoma and the best place in the world for Native storytelling in through film and television.
Chuck Hoskin, Jr. is the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
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