CLAREMORE, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation and its film office are celebrating the first Cherokee Film Incentive recipient to film entirely within the Cherokee Nation Reservation. Tribal officials were on set to visit with the cast and crew as “A Christmas... Present,” starring Full House star Candace Cameron Bure, wrapped last week.
The movie is slated to premiere on the Great American Family network on Sunday, November 27.
“A Christmas… Present filmed entirely within Cherokee Nation’s 7,000 square miles of reservation, which demonstrates how truly versatile Cherokee Nation is in serving as a perfect backdrop for productions of all types,” said Jennifer Loren, director of the Cherokee Nation Film and Original Content. “It is an excellent example of why we are bringing productions here and how northeast Oklahoma is quickly becoming a national hub for filmmaking.”
Throughout filming, local residents and visitors were treated to an early look at the upcoming holiday season as a neighborhood in Owasso and the streets and businesses of Claremore were quickly transformed into a winter wonderland.
“Cherokee Nation was the ideal backdrop for us to create this film,” said Bill Abbott, President & CEO of Great American Media. “From the terrific people of Cherokee Nation to the great cities of Owasso and Claremore, the hospitality we were shown was second to none, and we’re grateful for the Cherokee Nation Film Office for paving the way to bring this production to northeastern Oklahoma.”
The holiday-themed project is projected to have spent more than $1.5 million, including retail expenses to native-owned businesses and wages for talent and crew, while filming within the tribe’s 14-county reservation. Local Native American citizens represented 40 percent of the movie’s total crew.
“A Christmas... Present” is part of Great American Christmas, the network’s holiday programming which returns to televisions this week. It will feature original holiday movies every Saturday and Sunday with its increasingly popular Christmas movies airing throughout the end of the year.
"The locations that we found on the Cherokee Nation Reservation were incredible, and really served to elevate the Christmas movie,” said Brad Krevoy, CEO of Motion Picture Corporation of America, who co-produced the film with Bure's Candy Rock Entertainment. “I hope we're able to come back with future projects and explore more of Owasso, Claremore and beyond."
The movie follows Bure’s Maggie Larson, a busy real estate agent and Type-A mom, as she brings her family, including her husband Eric Larson played by costar Marc Blucas, to celebrate the holidays with her niece and widowed brother. The project also marks a first from Bure’s Candy Rock Entertainment and Great American Media’s new partnership, which has Bure developing, producing and starring in original content across the company’s portfolio.
Earlier this year, Cherokee Nation and its businesses launched a powerful economic tool within the tribe’s reservation and expanded its effort to help grow the film and television industries in Oklahoma when Cherokee Nation Film Office became the first tribal film commission to offer an annual $1 million film incentive for productions filmed within the tribe’s boundaries.