TULSA, Okla.— Cherokee Nation Film Office is making strategic and impactful moves to further advance the presence of Native Americans in the film and television industries.

CNFO will be among an elite group of sponsors who are partnering with Gateway Entertainment and IllumiNative to present the inaugural Indigenous Filmmakers Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival. 

Expanding on the longstanding history and tradition of the Sundance Indigenous Program, the Indigenous Filmmakers Lounge aims to contribute to the rich legacy of support for Indigenous voices. As an official partner of 2020 SFF, the lounge will feature panel discussions and live performances during the opening weekend of the festival, with a focus on narrative change and creating opportunities for Native peoples to build sustainable careers in the industry. 

“We attended last year’s festival within a week of our organization’s launch and were blown away by the amazing talent and collaboration we saw,” said Jennifer Loren, senior manager of the film office. “We used that inspiration to drive our mission and have been working diligently on proactive ways that engage and support Native talent within the industry. The Indigenous lounge is just one more way we can come together in support of diverse and authentic representation, and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.” 

The lounge will take place in the heart of Old Town Park City at Park City Live on Friday, Jan. 24, and Saturday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The CNFO team is participating in several roundtable and panel discussions and will be sharing a special screening of Cherokee Nation’s Emmy award-winning show, “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People,” during the opening reception.

“One of the discussions we’re participating in is focused on filming in Indian Country and developing Native crew,” Loren said. “We can’t wait to share with everyone what we’ve been working on and introduce the first-ever Native talent, crew and business/support services databases, which will live on the Cherokee.film website. We want to see more Natives in front of the camera, behind the camera, writing the scripts and even in the boardrooms. We’re also showcasing the unique eco-scapes and diverse locations within northeastern Oklahoma to help bring the economic benefits of film production to the 14 counties of the Cherokee Nation.”

All events within the Indigenous Filmmakers Lounge are free and open to the public with advanced registration. Secure your tickets by clicking here.

The Indigenous Filmmakers Lounge is made possible through the generous sponsorship and support of Gateway Entertainment, IllumiNative, Cherokee Nation Film Office, Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, NDN Collective, Nia Tero, Paramount Network, FNX, Amazon Studios, Oklahoma Film + Music, Utah Divisions of Arts and Museums and Indian Affairs, Buffalo Nickel Creative, Blackfeather Whiskey, Film Columbus, Reel Scout, Orvilife, Eric & Eric Edibles, Park City Energy Healing, and Elbe Law.

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