The Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO), in conjunction with the City of Shawnee and the Shawnee Film and Music Office, is proud to announce the community of Shawnee has achieved ‘film friendly’ certification after completing the requirements for OF+MO’s Oklahoma Film Friendly Community Program.
Shawnee has a history of working to cultivate the film, television and music industries within their community dating back over ten years ago as host of the former Southern Winds Film Festival to presently serving as home to companies like Outsiders Productions and Grand Casino’s Emmy Award-winning singer/songwriter series “Play It Loud”. Additionally, Shawnee has welcomed production on a variety of film and television projections, including the forthcoming feature “Out of Exile” from Oklahoma’s own Kyle Kauwika Harris, as well as the film “Help Wanted”, which just wrapped production in the community last week.
“For lack of more elegant words, the growth of the film industry in Shawnee is just really cool,” proclaimed Shawnee Mayor Ed Bolt. “We’ve heard about the film business happening in Oklahoma, but it seemed some faraway dream. Now, film crews are right here on Shawnee’s Main Street, in our restaurants and shooting other locations around our community. It is a privilege to get to show off Shawnee to the world as these films and TV episodes are released.” He continues, “Others get to see what I’ve long known, that Shawnee is a vibrant, beautiful place for our citizens, our guests, and now the film industry. It is fun to think about what the future holds for Shawnee and Oklahoma.”
In addition to becoming certified through OF+MO’s Oklahoma Film Friendly Community Program, Shawnee City Commissioners voted in May to approve the creation of the Shawnee Film and Music Office within the city’s tourism department. Headed by Tourism Director Stacy Cramer Moore, the Shawnee Film and Music Office will support film, television and music production in the area by coordinating the necessary permits, streamlining communications, promoting local assets and ensuring the health and safety of both the community and industry guests.
“When you start to think about the scope of services, required by even a mid-budget production, from craft services to carpentry, our local businesses and city’s tax revenue increase when film crews are in town,” said Shawnee Film and Music Office Director Stacy Cramer Moore. “Our citizens start to look at our locations in a different way, seeing them as unique and interesting. It has ignited a spark of pride. Shawnee has a long legacy of participating in the film industry, and now, we have the opportunity to grow and diversify the kinds of projects shot in Shawnee.”
The Shawnee Film and Music Office is the latest organization established to help drive and support the entertainment industry on a localized level, joining organizations such as the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture, the Cherokee Nation Film Office and the El Reno TV & Film Commission. As a certified film friendly community, the City of Shawnee now joins El Reno and Broken Arrow who previously completed the program’s requirements, which require the designation of a film liaison, the creation of a filming permit and the promotion of the community’s locations via OF+MO’s online directory.
“We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Stacy Cramer Moore over the last two years as she and her city’s leadership have worked to further promote the City of Shawnee to the state’s film, television and music industries, and we couldn’t be more proud of their successful efforts in the creation of the Shawnee Film and Music Office and their certification as a film friendly destination through our Oklahoma Film Friendly Community Program,” said OF+MO Director Tava Maloy Sofsky. “We applaud Shawnee’s commitment to both their community and the future film, television and music production in the state, and look forward to our continued work together.”
For more information on the Shawnee Film and Music Office, visit shawnee.info/film.
For more information on OF+MO’s Oklahoma Film Friendly Community program, visit okfilmmusic.org/filmfriendly.
About the Oklahoma Film + Music Office:
Under the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) works to promote the state as a viable hub for film, television and music production as well as further develop opportunities for workforce, business and community growth within these sectors. For more information on the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, including the state’s film incentives and additional resources, visit okfilmmusic.org.