Tribe introduces funding for productions filmed within reservation, hiring Natives
The Cherokee Nation Film Office (CNFO) has announced it will soon offer a groundbreaking film incentive program, becoming the first tribal film office in the U.S. to do so. The Cherokee Nation Film Incentive will provide up to $1 million in annual funding for productions filmed within the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county reservation.
“Since establishing our film office, we’ve worked diligently alongside our state and local partners to help grow the film and television industries in Oklahoma,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “There are substantial benefits in launching this powerful economic tool within 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, family-owned businesses within our tribal communities.”
CNFO will begin accepting applications for the tribe’s film incentive on March 1. The base incentive offers a cash rebate for qualified production expenses. Productions filming anywhere within Cherokee Nation’s 7,000 square miles of northeast Oklahoma are eligible for the incentive.
The tribe’s film program is aimed at creating economic development and growing job opportunities by encouraging the production of film and television projects within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation. The incentive also offers increased funding for employing Native American citizens, as well as utilizing Native-owned businesses.
“In pursuit of our longtime mission of growing the tribe’s economy, CNB continues to invest in the success of Cherokee citizens through new and diverse opportunities across the globe,” said Chuck Garrett, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “The Cherokee Nation Film Incentive is an excellent means of expanding upon those goals by helping grow an entire industry specifically within the Cherokee Nation.”
The Cherokee Nation Film Incentive will be available individually or in conjunction with the state of Oklahoma’s incentive program, but each requires a separate application process. The Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021, administered by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, also offers productions a cash rebate based on several qualifying factors.
“Oklahoma’s television, film and production industries continue to grow at an exceptional pace. We are pleased to serve a role in helping support economic growth while furthering our mission to promote diversity, inclusion and accurate Native American representation at every level of these industries,” said Jennifer Loren, director of Cherokee Nation Film Office and Original Content. “Encouraging productions to film within Cherokee Nation’s many vast and beautiful locations, as well as to hire Indigenous people and utilize Native-owned businesses, offers an immense amount of opportunity for tribal citizens, families and businesses to benefit from the rapid growth of these industries within our state.”
The Cherokee Nation Film Office launched in 2019 and became the first certified Native American film commission to open in the United States. CNFO also created and maintains unique, all-inclusive talent, crew and consulting online directories featuring Native American actors, extras, voice actors, crew, cultural experts and other industry resources.
“The Cherokee Nation Film Office has been among the most ardent supporters of Oklahoma’s film and television industry, and it has been an honor partnering with them since their inception in 2019,” said OF+MO Director Tava Maloy Sofsky. “The launch of the Cherokee Nation Film incentive is a momentous achievement that will further enhance production in Oklahoma as well as positively impact the Indigenous communities of The Cherokee Nation in innovative ways.”
For more information about the Cherokee Nation Film Office, visit cherokee.film or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Businesses located within Cherokee Nation’s reservation can register to be hired by film and TV productions through CNFO’s support services directory.
Additional details regarding the Cherokee Nation Film Incentive will be available soon at cherokee.film/filmincentives.
About the Oklahoma Film + Music Office:
Under the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) works to promote the state as a viable hub for film, television and music production as well as further develop opportunities for workforce, business and community growth within these sectors. For more information on the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, including the state’s film incentives and additional resources, visit okfilmmusic.org.