TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The recently announced animated Cherokee language series “Inage’i” (Ee-nah-geh-ee) will premiere its pilot episode at the inaugural Drive-in Movie Nights hosted during the 68th annual Cherokee National Holiday. In advance of the screening, Cherokee Nation released today a sneak peek of the series pilot, which is set to debut Sept. 4.

“The series of drive-in movie nights will allow us to gather in a socially responsible way over Labor Day weekend. We can feel that sense of togetherness that Cherokee National Holiday always offers, even from the safety of our own cars,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “With the highly anticipated premiere of our animated series Inage’i headlining the schedule of films, short documentaries and animations, we hope you’ll sign up to bring the whole family. Everything you’ll see up on the big screen highlights the culture and history of the Cherokee Nation.”

Drive-in Movie Nights are presented by the Cherokee Nation Film Office as a celebration of Cherokee storytelling, language and culture. The free, family-friendly events will be hosted at One Fire Field Sept. 3-5 beginning at 8 p.m.

This year’s lineup showcases film and television content that is either created by Cherokees or is about the Cherokee people. Screenings include a feature film, various short films and animations, and the season six premiere of the Regional Emmy Award-winning series “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People.” A full lineup of each evening’s screenings can be found at holiday.cherokee.org.

In addition, Cherokee Nation will premiere its highly anticipated new animated series “Inage’i,” which translates to “In the Woods.” The project was funded by the tribe as part of its Durbin Feeling Language Preservation Act to preserve and revitalize the Cherokee language.

The story follows the adventures of four animal friends who live together in the forest of Turtle Island. Iga Daya’I, the mischievous rabbit; Juksvsgi, the gruff wolf; Anawegi, the conscientious deer; and Kvliwohi, the wise bear, are characters drawn from rich Cherokee storytelling tradition.

CNFO worked with the creators during preproduction of the series pilot, providing them with its Native American talent database as producers looked for voiceover talent.

“It is so important that our Cherokee people see themselves represented in the media. The Cherokee Nation Film Office is committed to seeing that through, and this event is just one way we are working to ensure that happens,” said Jennifer Loren, director of the Cherokee Nation Film Office.

Drive-in Movie Nights are one of only two events being held in person at the 68th annual Cherokee National Holiday. Traditionally, the celebration draws more than 100,000 visitors from both Oklahoma and out of state on Labor Day weekend, though most of this year’s events will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guests can enjoy the films from the safety and security of their own vehicle at this socially distanced event and can access audio through FM radio. Masks are required if outside your vehicle.

The event is limited to 300 cars each night. Those interested in reserving free tickets can do so by visiting holiday.cherokee.org.