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Old 12-15-2006, 01:21 PM   #1
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Sundance selects Oklahoma film for festival

From Staff Reports


Oklahoma filmmaker Sterlin Harjo's feature film debut, "Four Sheets to the Wind,” was recently selected by Sundance Film Festival for competition in the 2007 festival in Park City, Utah, in January where it will make its world premiere.
The film, shot in Tulsa and Holdenville last summer, was one of 16 films selected from a field of more than 3,200 submissions from around the world. Tulsan Chad Burris and partner Ted Kroeber of Oklahoma-based Indion Entertainment Group produced the film.

Harjo, a descendent of the Seminole and Creek Indian tribes, feels it's important to tell stories that shed new light on American Indians rather than depicting their stories in stereotypical period pieces or westerns.

"Four Sheets to the Wind” is the result of Harjo's work after being selected as one of the first five Annenberg film fellows at the Sundance Institute. Through the Annenberg fellowship, his participation in Sundance's Feature Film Program was supported for two years while he developed the script for "Four Sheets to the Wind.”

"Making a film is a very scary thing,” Harjo said. "You just put your heart into it and hope that things go right. You also hope that special things happen during the process that you didn't expect. So much is out of your hands, but you have to make a film that you are proud of … hopefully other people will like it as well.”

"Sterlin's work has a wonderful simplicity and purity about it,” said Jill Simpson, director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, a state agency that provided Indion with production support. "His films are about the people and places he knows best. He's a great storyteller. My experience working with Sterlin and the Indion team on ‘Four Sheets' was nothing but positive. I'm very proud of their accomplishment.”

In addition to "Four Sheets to the Wind,” Harjo's resume includes several short films including "Goodnight Irene,” set in an Indian Health Service hospital, which premiered at Sundance in 2005 and screened internationally at festivals including Berlin International Film Festival and Aspen Shortsfest, where it was cited for Special Jury Recognition.
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