The Cherokee Nation and the film agency celebrate the premiere of land of gold and the first production of its kind to be filmed at the tribe’s studios and state-of-the-art virtual soundstage in Owasso. The film, directed by award-winning filmmaker Nardeep Khurmi, debuted this month at the Tribeca Festival in New York City.
The film follows truck driver and father-to-be Kiran, played by Khurmi, as his already tumultuous life takes a drastic turn when he tries to reunite a young girl named Elena, played by Caroline Valencia, with her family after discovering that the child has been locked up in a sea container.
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land of gold is the 2021 winner of AT&T presents: untold stories – a multi-year, multi-layered alliance between AT&T and Tribeca Festival. Each year, the program awards a deserving, under-represented filmmaker $1 million to produce their film and provides mentorship and first-look opportunities for distribution.
“Inclusive storytelling is important not only in front of the camera, but also behind the camera. This story of Americans with hyphens could not have happened without the support of the Cherokee Nation, whose generosity allowed us to film our road trip sequences in comfort and safety,” Khurmi said. “I am honored to have made my first film about what it is to be an American with the involvement of First Nations people. It’s exciting and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved together.”
The tribe’s virtual soundstage, a first in Oklahoma and Indian Country, spans 27,000 square feet located on more than 4 acres within the Cherokee Nation reservation. The Cherokee Nation Extended Reality Studio, or XR Studio, includes both an LED wall and ceiling structure to provide industry-leading content and capabilities in virtual production by leveraging Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality elements to create a to create a fully immersive experience.
“This premiere illustrates the importance of Cherokee Nation bringing groundbreaking film technology to our region,” said Jennifer Loren, director of the Cherokee Nation Film Office and Original Content. “It’s really exciting to see this film and the diverse production opportunities within our reservation and set to appear on a global platform.”
Earlier this year, Cherokee Nation and its companies also launched a powerful economic tool within the tribe’s reservation and expanded its efforts to help grow Oklahoma’s film and television industry when Cherokee Nation Film Office became the first tribal film commission to offered an annual $1 million movie incentive for productions filmed within his tribe’s borders.
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