Cherokee Nation officials on Tuesday announced a new film incentive program that will provide up to $1 million a year for productions filmed on the tribe’s 14-county reservation.
“Film and television production is one of Oklahoma’s most promising and rapidly growing industries, and Cherokee Nation is committed to continuing to champion that growth,” Senior Chef Chuck Hoskin Jr. said during the virtual ad.
The Cherokee Nation Film Incentive will support the industry while addressing the need for diversity and inclusion and accurate representation of Indigenous identity in productions, Hoskin said.
The incentive program provides cash rebates for qualifying production expenses to encourage the production of film and television projects within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation. The incentive also provides increased funding for filmmakers who hire Native American citizens and contract with Native-owned businesses. Discounts for employment of local non-native residents are also available.
“There are substantial benefits to launching this powerful economic tool on the Cherokee Nation reservation. In addition to expanding career opportunities for Indigenous filmmakers, producers, directors, actors and behind-the-scenes crew members, this new incentive program reinforces Cherokee Nation’s commitment to creating quality jobs and supporting small businesses. families within our tribal communities,” says Hoskin.
The tribe’s film office will begin accepting applications for the film incentive on March 1. The reservation includes a variety of locations ranging from big city to rural towns and outer reaches.
Reimbursement will be available individually or in conjunction with the Oklahoma State incentive program, but each requires a separate application process.
The Cherokee Nation Film Office was launched in 2019 – the first certified Native American film commission to open in the United States – to help grow Oklahoma’s television and film production industry.
The tribe wants to continue to support and promote inclusion and accurate representation of Native Americans at all levels of the industry, said Jennifer Loren, Director of Film Office.
“Native Americans are represented in mainstream media at a rate of less than 1%, less than 1%. It’s not OK. And when we are portrayed, the portrayals are often inaccurate or based on harmful stereotypes,” Loren said. “Cherokee Nation Film Office will work with existing Oklahoma filmmakers, with Native filmmakers, and we will welcome new allies to set new standards for Native American representation. We plan to make Cherokee Nation a movie hub where you can find great jobs telling great stories, especially for those who want to change the native narrative.
The Tribe’s Film Office has created and maintains comprehensive online talent, crew and consultant directories featuring Native American actors, extras, voice actors, crews, cultural experts and others. industry support resources and services.
Businesses located on the Cherokee Nation reservation can register to be hired by film and television productions through the Support Services Directory.
For more information, visit https://cherokee.film/.