TULSA, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation Film Office was recognized Sunday with the Hamilton Community Leadership Award at the 9th Annual Native American Media Awards. The virtual awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the 14th Annual LA Skins Fest, which ran Nov. 18 – 22.
The award is bestowed upon tribes, organizations and individuals who show true and groundbreaking leadership in the film and TV community.
“For far too long Native Americans have been underrepresented in film and TV, comprising less than 1% of the industry,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “There’s opportunity here — opportunity for growth, opportunity for change, and opportunity for inclusivity and fair representation. That’s what our film office does. We invest in the future by partnering to attract filmmakers, funding scholarships to develop Native talent, and supporting community events that celebrate the Native American perspective. There’s a place for us in this industry, and not only do we have a story to tell, we have diverse Native talent ready to do so.”
LA Skins Fest is the premier Native American film festival and is presented by Comcast NBCUniversal. The annual event celebrates Indigenous people throughout North America by telling diverse stories, commemorating heritage and fostering dialogue on a variety of platforms.
“We’re incredibly honored to be recognized in this way, among such outstanding advocates and passionate, collaborative supporters,” said Jennifer Loren, director of the film office. “We’ve been fortunate to find partners that share our enthusiasm and call to add diversity and Native American representation to this industry, and together we’ve brought new opportunities to the table that support Natives and Native storytelling. We’re thankful for the unwavering support from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., as well as the work of so many others who continue to champion the advancement of this industry.”
The Cherokee Nation Film Office launched in 2019 to increase the presence of Native Americans in every level of the film and television industries, while also creating opportunities for economic development and jobs in the Cherokee Nation.
Working hand in hand with the state and local film offices, the Cherokee Nation Film Office supports the growth of Oklahoma’s film industry by promoting northeast Oklahoma as a destination for filmmakers and serves as a cultural and historical consultant on film projects.
In addition to creating and promoting an environment that cultivates Native filmmaking and representation, the film office recently established the first-ever Native talent, crew and business/support services databases.
“Now more than ever before, it is imperative that we come together to elevate the Native voice, develop Native talent and celebrate authentic storytelling,” Loren said. “While we celebrate the great progress we’ve made in recent years, we remain committed to the work ahead and look forward to a bright and promising future for Native filmmaking.”
Several Cherokee Nation citizens were honored throughout the awards ceremony as well, including Jeremy Charles, who was recognized with the Achievement in Filmmaking Award for his work writing and directing “Totsu” (Redbird). Nathalie Standingcloud received the NBCUniversal Rising Phoenix Award for Outstanding Performance for her lead role in “Totsu” (Redbird), and Tom Hanada was honored with the Achievement in Writing Award for his current roles in various TV and film projects.
For more information about the Cherokee Nation Film Office, please visit www.Cherokee.Film.