Written and directed by Harjo, “Mekko” is a dramatic film starring Rod Rondeaux (“3:10 to Yuma”) and Zahn McClarnon (“Longmire”) which tells the story of an ex-con living on the streets of Tulsa who becomes embroiled in a fateful conflict with a local thug. The film was shot and produced by an all-Oklahoma crew in Tulsa utilizing the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program administered by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO).
In an interview with the Tulsa World earlier this year, Harjo called “Mekko” his Tulsa story. “I always wanted to set a whole story in the city. There’s something cool and poetic about Tulsa,” he said. “I wanted to show the reality and the beauty and a dark side to the city, and I think it came out very cinematic.”
As one of the world’s most renowned film festivals, TIFF is projected to attract nearly 500,000 attendees this year. OF+MO, in conjunction with the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture, will host a reception on Sunday, September 13 at 9:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency to promote the Oklahoma film industry and incentive program as well as honor the film’s international world premiere.
“We are so proud of Sterlin Harjo’s accomplishments with ‘Mekko’ and wish him the best at both TIFF and the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto this year,” said Tava Sofsky, OF+MO director. “It’s amazing to watch Oklahoma filmmakers like Harjo continue to blossom. From his previous works which have screened at the Sundance Film Festival to the current journey of ‘Mekko’, it is a win to have had this film utilize our rebate program as it provides a great example of how independent productions can gain great production value and exposure.”
In addition to the film’s presentation at TIFF, “Mekko” also has the honor of being selected as the Opening Night Gala for the 16th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival to be held in Toronto from October 14-18, 2015. Since 2000, the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival has programmed film, video, radio and digital media works made by Indigenous media artists with an emphasis on embracing those works, which push artistic boundaries to represent a diversity of ideas, themes and genres that would not necessarily be made available through mainstream forms of media.
“We’re beyond thrilled for Sterlin and the Oklahoma crew that worked on this project,” said Abby Kurin, director of Film, Music, Arts & Culture for VisitTulsa. “For ‘Mekko’ to be selected for two prestigious film festivals in Toronto is incredible. We are honored that he chose to film this project in Tulsa. We enjoyed working with him, and look forward to doing so again in the future.”
For more information on the film, please visit their Facebook page.
About the Oklahoma Film + Music Office:
Created in 1979, The Oklahoma Film + Music Office strives to share all that Oklahoma has to offer by welcoming filmmakers and music professionals to the state and by creating a network of support to develop Oklahoma’s film and music industries. For more information about the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program or the Oklahoma Film + Music Office please visit www.okfilmmusic.org.