Cherokee Nation has broken ground on a 10,000-square-foot soundstage, among the newest expansion at Cherokee Film Studios’ Owasso campus.
The new production facility will feature a 35-foot ceiling, full soundproofing to cinema standards, a modular truss system with chain hoists, a hair and makeup room, a multipurpose-flex space, restrooms, 14-foot bay doors for load-ins and RV hookups for production trailers. The expansion is expected to be completed in early 2024.
“The film and television industry is a forever industry within our reservation. Cherokee Film remains on the leading edge because of its leadership and staff working every day to keep it that way,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in his own statement. “As we increase infrastructure, such as we’re celebrating today, we are fueling the growth and expansion of this exciting industry that will help drive an economic boost for our communities, create new quality jobs and bolster our talented citizens and small Native-owned businesses alike.”
The expansion of the Cherokee Film Studios, Owasso Campus in Oklahoma will mark the second state-of-the-art production facility located on more than four acres within the Cherokee Nation Reservation.
The tribe’s existing 27,000-square-foot Owasso facility will also benefit from the expansion, with changes including a new lobby and waiting area for clients, a construction mill space equipped with cyclonic air filtration system, a multipurpose-flex space, productions offices and conference rooms, wardrobe and storage spaces, the audio recording suite, a catering kitchen and an additional greenroom.
Land of Gold, AT&T’s Untold Stories award winner at the Tribeca Film Festival, was the first film made at the original sound stage of Cherokee Film Studios, Owasso Campus. A first-of-its-kind facility in Oklahoma and Indian Country, it features an extended reality, virtual production LED volume studio crafted with industry-leading software and hardware technologies.
“This is an excellent illustration of our commitment to fulfilling the infrastructure needed to help grow the state’s burgeoning film industry,” said Jennifer Loren, senior director of Cherokee Film. “The expansion of Cherokee Film Studios, Owasso Campus will answer the region’s need for purpose-built professional facilities while simultaneously providing an industry-leading space for Cherokee Nation to create our own productions at the highest level possible.”
The Owasso expansion is the latest move in Cherokee Film’s effort to become a global production hub at the center of the film, TV and entertainment industry. Earlier this month, Cherokee Nation Businesses — which owns Cherokee Film — announced a new company name, along with four distinct branches and logos. It also rolled out a new website and social media accounts as part of its rebrand. Those branches include Cherokee Film Productions, Cherokee Film Studios, Cherokee Film Commission and Cherokee Film Institute.
“In pursuit of our longtime mission of growing the tribe’s economy, our company invests in the success of Cherokee Nation through new and diverse opportunities across the globe,” said Chuck Garrett, chief executive officer for CNB, in a statement Wednesday. “The rapid and continued growth of Cherokee Film is an excellent example of our commitment to continually finding new ways to diversify our efforts so that we can provide even more funding and resources for our fellow Cherokee citizens while remaining a positive community partner for our state.”