TULSA, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation Film Office 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. Prequalified productions filming anywhere within Cherokee Nation’s 7,000 square miles of northeast Oklahoma are eligible for the rebate incentive.
With this annual $1 million incentive program in place, the tribe hopes to create economic development and grow 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.
Additional details regarding the Cherokee Nation Film Incentive are available at https://cherokee.film/filmincentives.