Cherokee Nation Film Office, OSU-Tulsa Partner To Expand Film Education In Oklahoma

Monday, October 18th 2021, 5:17 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Cherokee Nation Film Office is partnering with OSU-Tulsa to help expand film education in the Sooner State.

The film industry in Oklahoma is growing. From the movie, "Killers of the Flower Moon", starring Leonardo DiCaprio, to the recently released movie, Stillwater, starring Matt Damon, each of those Hollywood hits requires hundreds of employees. That's why there's a new push to educate people in film right here in the Sooner State.

"With the film industry growing so dramatically here in Oklahoma, it's important that the state has the necessary crew and people to support those films whenever they come here," said Jennifer Loren, director of the Cherokee Nation's film office. 

Loren said the tribe has partnered with OSU-Tulsa to create a state-of the art film lab.

"What this does is it creates a sort of 'film 101.' People will be able to go in and decide 'hey is this for me' and 'what part of the industry do I want to get into'," Loren explained. 

The Cherokee Nation said it will pay for the all the equipment in the lab, from cameras to computers. OSU Tulsa will provide the space and the staff. 

"It's just another opportunity for Oklahoma citizens to develop a career," said OSU Tulsa Senior Vice President, Chris Benge. Benge said the university already has a filmmaker on staff who will teach in the lab, with the plan to hire more faculty.

"So, we listen to what's going on in the community and what the needs are. So, this is one of those examples were hearing the film industry they need employees they need people who want to be in that career," Benge said. 

OSU said this is the first film lab on any of its campuses. There will also be scholarships available for tribal citizens.

"It's a win-win for it everyone. We get to create more films and we get to hire more people to create them," Loren said. 

The Cherokee Nation is already in the process of buying equipment. OSU said it doesn't have any concrete plans yet for where the lab will be.