Cherokee Film expansion seeks to promote Native American crew

Cherokee Film’s portfolio includes four branches: Cherokee Film Productions, Cherokee Film Studios, Cherokee Film Commission and Cherokee Film Institute

By Priyanca Rajput 31 Aug 2023

Cherokee Film expansion seeks to promote Native American crew
Credit: Cherokee Nation Business

Cherokee Nation Businesses has launched a new company name with four film-focused branches, to target the tribe's efforts in becoming a film and media production hub.

Cherokee Nation's combined efforts in filmmaking, storytelling and content creation are now established as Cherokee Film.

Cherokee Film’s portfolio includes four branches – Cherokee Film Productions, Cherokee Film Studios, Cherokee Film Commission and Cherokee Film Institute – and represents more than 30 full-time employees.

Speaking exclusively to KFTV, Breanna Washington, spokesperson for Cherokee Nation noted that: "Natives are represented at a rate of less than 1% in film, TV, and media," adding that "we aim to use our infrastructure and technology to tell our own stories and to increase Native American visibility across the industry.

"Our Native American crew and talent directories are readily available to all producers, and we are “growing” new film industry participants through our institute and scholarships."

In an earlier interview with Deadline, Cherokee Nation principal chief chuck Hoskin Jr said: “Cherokee Nation has quickly become a leading hub for Indigenous storytellers in television and film. As we increase infrastructure, explore incentives, connect resources and remove barriers, Cherokee Nation and its businesses are helping grow and amplify television and film production in Oklahoma while making it possible for our citizens to be a part of it.”

“Cherokee Nation and its businesses continue to stand at the forefront of industry and economic growth in Oklahoma,” said Chuck Garrett, CNB chief executive officer. “We are very proud of our ongoing leadership role in helping grow and evolve the film and television industry, and it’s time that our brand recognizes the entirety of those efforts.”

In a snapshot provided to the outlet, Cherokee Film Productions will continue sharing its stories through OsiyoTV and will add a slate of new projects, "creating content that tells Cherokee stories and contributes to the tribe’s language-revitalisation efforts."

Cherokee Film Studios will continue supporting the "local, regional and Native film industries through investments in infrastructure, expanding upon the tribe’s existing soundstage facility in Owasso, OK."

The Cherokee Film Commission will continue offering its initiatives supporting "all types of content creators, such as its $1m annual film rebate; cultural consulting services; and Native American crew, talent and support-services directories."

Cherokee Film Institute is investing in a "long-term strategy to create educational and workforce opportunities aimed at removing the barrier for Native Americans to enter the industry and create a sustainable workforce in and around the Cherokee Nation reservation."

“The launch of Cherokee Film represents a new way forward, not just for the Cherokee people, but for all of Indian Country and for film and media as a whole. With a community-driven mindset, we have built a living, breathing ecosystem to create positive change through the practice of storytelling in the digital age,” said Jennifer Loren, senior director of Cherokee Film. “From our Native American talent and crew databases and film rebate program to our state-of-the-art soundstage, Cherokee Nation is quickly becoming a hub for film and media production while creating job opportunities and generating economic activity throughout northeastern Oklahoma.

“With Cherokee Film’s new investments in film and media production and investments in educating our workforce, we hope to create lasting change that will help diversify the stories we see in mainstream media. Our team at Cherokee Film is passionate about creating a better and more inclusive life for the next seven generations.”

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