Cherokee Nation Film Office earns international recognition for Native American directories

TULSA, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation Film Office is being recognized on a global scale for its groundbreaking directories featuring Native American citizens.

CNFO recently won Film Commission Initiative of the Year during the 2022 Makers & Shakers Awards ceremony held at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts headquarters in London. The tribe’s film office was the only finalist from the United States to be nominated for the international honor.

“We are incredibly honored to accept this recognition, which is an absolute win for all of Indian Country,” said Jennifer Loren, senior director of Cherokee Nation Film and Original Content. “Representation matters, and it is vital that Indigenous people see themselves accurately and authentically represented in all forms of media across the globe. It is the inspiration that drives our mission and encourages our team to continue working diligently on new and proactive ways to engage and support Native talent across the film and television industry.”

Judges, including multinational business leaders, industry experts, past winners and other influential figures, selected the tribal film office for its ongoing effort to help Native Americans be fairly represented across mainstream media, as well as its role in the exponential growth of Oklahoma’s film and television industry. The award highlights CNFO’s unique, all-inclusive talent, crew and consulting directories featuring Native actors, extras, crew and cultural experts, as well as Native-owned businesses and support services.

“This year’s winner has shown a thorough, transferable and important approach, which is so needed in the industry,” said the Makers & Shakers Judges Panel. “While this has been hard to achieve, they are leading the way for others to follow.”

The Film Commission Initiative of the Year award recognizes a local, regional or national film commission for its significant impact on its region. The 2022 finalists included CNFO, the Dominican Republic Film Commission, Film Queenstown Lakes, The National Film Authority of Ghana, Roma Lazio Film Commission, Trentino Film Commission and The Ukrainian Content.

Held annually at BAFTA, the Makers & Shakers Awards honor groundbreaking ideas and initiatives from the global creative screen industry. The award ceremony serves as the closing event to FOCUS, the only trade event in the United Kingdom that serves as an international meeting place for content makers and facilitators from more than 80 countries, including thousands of production professionals from across film, TV, advertising, animation and game industries.

The Cherokee Nation Film Office launched in 2019 and became the first certified Native American film commission to open in the United States. Earlier this year, the Cherokee Nation Film Office accomplished yet another groundbreaking feat by offering the first-ever tribal film incentive program.

Citizens of federally recognized tribes can register for CNFO’s database to display professional credits, contact information and more to TV and film productions interested in hiring Natives.