The Cherokee Nation opens its doors to film and television
Through Chuck Hoskin, Jr.
Guest review. It wasn’t that long ago that Native Americans were hard to find in the film industry. Even when an Indigenous character appeared on screen, he was often played by actors who were not from Indigenous communities. With a few notable exceptions, Indigenous writers, directors and other creators were even rarer. We were told stories about us, but they weren’t our stories.
Fortunately, that is changing, and the change also brings great economic opportunities for Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation. With a wealth of cultural heritage, a talented workforce, and diverse locations, Oklahoma is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after states for the film and television industry.
As the industry continues to thrive, the Cherokee Nation will remain at the forefront of the industry’s growth. We are opening doors for Oklahoma people to learn and work locally while pursuing their dreams in all types of positions including screenwriting, filmmaking, on-screen talent , the behind-the-scenes team, production and more. We work alongside several tribal entities, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, the Tulsa Film, Music, Arts and Culture Board, festivals of regional and national films, and more to support this growing industry.
In our most recent collaboration, the Cherokee Nation Film Office partnered with OSU-Tulsa to help develop film education. I am delighted that construction of the Cherokee Nation Community Film Lab, located on the OSU-Tulsa campus, is starting soon.
The Film Lab will create a new, hands-on, state-of-the-art learning experience at OSU-Tulsa, help expand its uncredited offerings into a credit film program, and most importantly, provide native and non-native students. native people with unique and artistic career opportunities right here in Oklahoma. In partnership with the university, we help fund the necessary film equipment, including cameras, lenses, sound equipment, lighting and other film essentials, as well as post-production necessities. production such as computers and software.
This is another great example of a tribal nation working with a state government entity to achieve a win-win for all Oklahomans. As with the Cherokee Nation OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, this type of education and workforce development partnership can accomplish a great deal in a short period of time.
As the state’s film and television industry has grown at an all-time high, we have seen many firsts brought by tribal citizens and other independent and local filmmakers. We’ve seen famous actors, directors and studios from all over the world make our hometowns the settings for great movies and TV series. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce estimates that the film and music industries have already created an impact of more than $ 160 million statewide. Over the past six years, more than 125 cities and more than 50 counties in Oklahoma have hosted filming locations.
The Cherokee Nation and its businesses remain deeply invested in bringing innovation and new industries to our region to create good jobs for our citizens and neighbors. This exciting entertainment boom adds the film and television industry along with other strong business sectors, such as aerospace and advanced manufacturing, to our diverse economic mix.
The growing Indigenous presence in the film and television industry also helps ensure that Indigenous peoples are able to share authentic Indigenous stories and represent themselves around the world. To help open even more doors, we are offering several Film Making Grants to the Tribal Citizens of OSU-Tulsa.
I look forward to the day when people around the world will think of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation, they will think of the artists, writers, directors, songwriters and other talented artists and artisans who have told our stories on the world stage. .
Chuck Hoskin, Jr. is the chief leader of the Cherokee Nation.
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