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Oklahoma Legislature passes new state film incentive bill and more movie news

Brandy McDonnell


May 21, 2021

The state House of Representatives on Thursday passed Senate Bill 608, also known as the Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021, which would create a more robust film incentive program for the state.

SB 608 passed the state Senate on Wednesday, so it now moves on to Gov. Kevin Stitt's desk to await his signature.

Through the current Oklahoma Film Rebate Program, prequalified productions can get a 35% rebate on qualified labor, goods and services, and those that spend at least $20,000 on Oklahoma music can get a 37% rebate. The current cap for the rebate is $8 million per fiscal year through 2027.

If Stitt signs the Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021, it will raise the cap for the rebate program to $30 million per fiscal year, a significant boost that proponents of Oklahoma's growing film and television industry say will bring in more productions, which means more jobs and economic activity for the state.

SB 608 also would create a new tiered structure for the incentive, in which productions could qualify for a base rebate percentage and then gain additional incentive amounts for meeting certain qualifications.

I'll have more on this story as it develops.

OSU's O'Colly Media Group produces Tulsa Race Massacre documentary

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State University's O'Colly Media Group has produced an original Tulsa Race Massacre documentary titled "Greenwood: Here and Now."

The Tulsa Race Massacre was one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. Between May 31 and June 1, 1921, mobs of white residents attacked, set aflame and ultimately devastated the Greenwood District, which was at that time one of the wealthiest Black communities in the United States, earning it the name "Black Wall Street."

The tragedy was covered up for decades and omitted from history books even in Oklahoma. But a wide-ranging centennial commemoration spanning art exhibitions, concerts, documentaries and more is underway in Tulsa and beyond.

Directed by Kelly Kerr, OSU's coordinator of student media, the feature-length documentary looks at those who live and work in Tulsa's Greenwood District today, what the future holds for Greenwood and how the memory of the massacre effects the neighborhood.

Kerr created an independent study course last fall and used OSU students as crew members. Production took a year, and the students conducted more than 20 interviews, earning college credit for their work.

The film concludes with Taylor Hanson, of the Tulsa-based Grammy-nominated band Hanson, performing an original song about Greenwood.

"Greenwood: Here and Now" will premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday on the O'Colly Media Group app, which is available on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Firestick. For more information, go to

Oklahoma Movie Hall of Fame to honor Will Sampson, Jack Ging, Dino Lalli and more

MUSKOGEE — The Oklahoma Movie Hall Of Fame has announced its 2021 class, as well as plans for an induction ceremony that have been updated and adjusted due tot he COVID-19 pandemic.

The event which is set for 7 p.m. May 29 at Muskogee’s Historic Roxy Theater.

In recognition for their decades long work and commitment to the film industry, this year's class includes six Oklahomans from diverse movie backgrounds: Seasoned actor Jack Ging ("High Plains Drifter," "Play Misty for Me"), Hollywood producer Doug Claybourne, Native American documentary film producer Julianna Brannum ("LaDonna Harris: Indian 101"), longtime casting director Ricki Maslar and television host, newspaper columnist and movie critic Dino Lalli.

In addition, Native American actor Will Sampson, who rocketed to fame opposite Jack Nicholson in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," will be inducted posthumously. The Muscogee (Creek) performer died in 1987 at the age of 53.

The 2021 honorees make up the Oklahoma Movie Hall of Fame's fourth class. Inductees are selected by a small committee of individuals working from suggestions made by Oklahoman and people working in the motion picture industry.

The May 29 induction event is free and open to the public. For information, go to

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