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Tribe breaks ground on second soundstage at Owasso campus

OWASSO, Okla. — Cherokee Nation and its businesses are celebrating the expansion of Cherokee Film Studios. The tribe recently broke ground on construction that will bring an additional 10,000-square-foot soundstage and more to its Owasso campus.

“The film and television industry is a forever industry within our reservation. Cherokee Film remains on the leading edge of it because its leadership and staff are working every day to keep it that way,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “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 Cherokee Film Studios, Owasso Campus is expected to be completed in early 2024. The tribally owned production facilities will soon include a second soundstage featuring 10,000 square feet, 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.

“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. “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.”

The ongoing construction will also bring changes to the tribe’s current facility including a new lobby and waiting area for clients, a construction mill space equipped with cyclonic air filtration system, a multipurpose/flex space, production offices and conference rooms, wardrobe and storage spaces, an audio recording suite, a catering kitchen and an additional greenroom.

“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.”

Cherokee Film Studios, Owasso Campus is the first of its kind in Oklahoma and Indian Country, including its current 27,000-square-foot facility featuring state-of-the-art xR, or extended reality, virtual production LED volume studio crafted with industry-leading software and hardware technologies.

It is located less than 20 minutes from the Tulsa International Airport on more than 4 acres within the Cherokee Nation Reservation. The campus currently includes 14,000 square feet of dedicated virtual production and practical studio space with accompanying edit suites, a control room, a pro-grade audio booth, crew and client lounges, as well as hair and makeup facilities to meet the growing needs of production in Oklahoma.

Cherokee Film aims to become a global production hub at the center of the film, TV and entertainment industry that champions diversity and inclusion for underrepresented voices.