TULSA, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation Film Office and Oklahoma Film & Television Academy are partnering to help educate Native American students to be set-ready as industry continues to grow in Oklahoma. 

The tribe’s film office recently sponsored and hosted OFTA’s Set Ready course at Cherokee Nation’s COVID Response Virtual Soundstage. Through CNFO scholarships, Native American students attended the course at no charge.

“Oklahoma’s television and film industry continues to grow at an exceptional pace,” said Jennifer Loren, director of Cherokee Nation Film Office and Original Content. “We are proud to continue our mission of increasing Native American representation in film and television by helping educate, prepare and connect tribal citizens with the great jobs and incredible opportunities becoming available in these industries.”

This month’s Set Ready course, which included a specialized curriculum focusing on current COVID-safety practices on sets, marks the first formal training program offered in person at Cherokee Nation’s soundstage. It is also the first OFTA-led course held in northeast Oklahoma.

“Not only was Cherokee Nation’s soundstage strikingly impressive, so were the attendees of OFTA's first remote Set Ready class. Engaged, curious and self-starting, they’re going to go far in the film and television industry,” said Kim Mott, unit production manager and OFTA instructor. “There is a long tradition of passing on knowledge of the industry, and I was happy to do so with these students of all ages from various professional backgrounds. I look forward to seeing where it takes them.”  

The program provides a base level understanding of the skills and knowledge needed to work on a film and television production. The course leads students through a hands-on learning experience and addresses production assistant duties, call sheets, scripts, shooting schedules, film crew titles and duties, radio procedures, set anatomy and equipment, production reports, and more.

The Oklahoma Film & Television Academy was formed with a mission to develop a production-ready workforce to support Oklahoma’s film and television industry. OFTA provides numerous short courses for people looking to join the industry, as well as courses aimed at helping experienced television and filmmakers advance in their careers.  

Cherokee Nation’s COVID Response Virtual Soundstage includes 27,000 square feet located on more than 4 acres within the Cherokee Nation reservation. The Cherokee Nation Extended Reality Studio, or XR Studio, encompasses both an LED wall and ceiling structure providing industry-leading content and capabilities using Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality elements to create a fully immersive experience.