Film office amplifies native voices
The new Cherokee Nation Film Office (CNFO) promotes northeast Oklahoma and cultivates Native American filmmaking.
Cherokee Nation citizens Ashley Andoe, Amanda Clinton and Jennifer Loren of the Cherokee Nation Film Office at Netflix studios in Hollywood, California
Courtesy Amanda Clinton
Storytelling — communicating heritage and history from one generation to the next — has always been a cornerstone of Cherokee culture. The new Cherokee Nation Film Office (CNFO) provides another avenue to share those stories, while promoting northeast Oklahoma and cultivating Native American filmmaking.
According to Amanda Clinton, Cherokee Nation Businesses’ vice president of communications, the CNFO has been busy since its launch in January, meeting with Netflix, consulting on film and TV projects, and even finding authentic photos of former Chief Wilma Mankiller for use on the film set of “The Glorias,” a biopic about the life of Mankiller’s good friend, social/political activist Gloria Steinem.
Inspired by the success of the award-winning “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People,” a TV series created, produced and hosted by Jennifer Loren and co-created and co-produced by Clinton, the office wants to provide an outlet and incubator for indigenous talent. The CNFO is working on a database of Native American filmmakers to connect with producers and directors filming in the state and plans to hold workshops to help Cherokees learn the industry.
“As more indigenous filmmakers get the opportunity to exercise their skills, more native voices are amplified in a way they never have been before,” Clinton says.
The office has already assisted on numerous projects including movies, TV ads, podcasts and plays, with more in the works.