Oklahoma City native Steve LaPorte is a world-renowned make-up and special effects artist and educator that won the Oscar for Beetlejuice, Emmy for X-Files, and served as make-up department head for Lost for six seasons. From The Color Purple to X-Men: First Class to Longmire, Steve works across every genre and format to create unforgettable movie magic.
Alison Naifeh is an Enid native and Oklahoma State University graduate that started on Twister and became the most prolific location scout and location manager in the region. Alison is the first point of contact for nearly every film produced in Oklahoma, providing gorgeous locations for local films and blockbusters like August: Osage County and I Can Only Imagine.
Steve Mathis is a John Marshall and University of Oklahoma graduate that has created beautiful images as gaffer and lighting technician on more than 90 films and television series, including Oscar winners Glory, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Moulin Rouge. Steve recently returned home to Oklahoma and dedicates his time to helping students and local filmmakers improve their craft.
Oklahoma Film + Music Office
The Oklahoma Film + Music Office is celebrating its 40th anniversary as the key driver of the Oklahoma film industry. Their rebate program, production guide, location database, and networking events have put Oklahoma on the map as a key destination for movie and television productions, resulting in $100 million in production spending this decade.
Tulsa native Alfre Woodard is Oklahoma's most awarded actress. She has won 4 Emmy Awards from 18 nominations, 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar nomination. She is also a noted philanthropist, founding Artists for South Africa, a nonprofit that has raised $9 million and provided healthcare to 3,500 South African AIDS orphans.
Choctaw's Ryan Merriman is an award-winning child actor that starred in 3 television series, 10 TV movies, and studio films like Deep End of the Ocean before transitioning into a successful adult actor in the Halloween,Final Destination, and Ring franchises, the TV series Pretty Little Liars, and 30 feature films, including 42 and The Jurassic Games.
Oklahoma City native Kim Voynar is an experiential visual artist, immersive storyteller, and award winning filmmaker with an eye towards emerging technologies. As a film critic, she reviewed films for Movie City News, Indiewire, and Variety. And, as CEO and founder of WonderTek Labs in Seattle, she produces and programs Virtual Reality/360 films for festivals around the country.
Oklahoma City's Gray Frederickson is an Oscar-winning producer that has created some of the most iconic films of all time, including The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II, Apocalypse Now, and The Outsiders. Frederickson also created the film and video program at OCCC, educating hundreds of crewmembers now working full time in the Oklahoma film industry.
Stillwater native and Putnam City North graduate James Marsden is one of Hollywood's most successful actors. From The Notebook, Enchanted and Hairspray to the X-Men films, Marsden has created indelible characters that audiences love and critics adore, including nominations for the SAG, Teen Choice, MTV, Blockbuster, and Broadcast Film Critics Awards.
Oklahoma City native and OU graduate Carol Littleton is an Oscar-nominated Editor that served as President of the Motion Pictures Editors Guild and created some of the most iconic films of all time, including: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Body Heat, The Big Chill, Silverado, The Manchurian Candidate, and the TV movie Tuesdays with Morrie, which won her a Primetime Emmy Award.
Wes Studi is a full-blood Cherokee actor from No Fire Hollow that has created seminal roles in some of the biggest award winning films of all time, including: Avatar, Last of the Mohicans, Dances with Wolves, The New World, and Geronimo: An American Legend.
Oscar nominee Gary Busey is a Tulsa Hale graduate and iconic actor that has appeared in more than 170 movies and television shows, including breakout roles in Lethal Weapon, Point Break, Under Siege, Entourage, Celebrity Apprentice, Iâ€™m with Busey, and a seminal performance in The Buddy Holly Story that launched his career.
Junie Lowry-Johnson, CSA, is an Oklahoma City native and Harding High School graduate that won 8 Emmy Awards for casting classic series NYPD Blue, Desperate Housewives, Six Feet Under, and True Blood, and television movies Gia and Mrs. Harris. She also cast several high profile movies, including La Bamba, Gross Pointe Blank, and Bruce Almighty.
Mike Mitchell is a Putnam City North graduate who directed narrative features Sky High and Surviving Christmas before moving over to direct major animated features. Since then, Mitchell has directed Shrek Forever After, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, several sequences of The SpongeBob Movie, and the recent blockbuster movie Trolls.
Oklahoma Cityâ€™s Bob Berney is the Head of Movie Distribution and Marketing for Amazon Studios and the former CEO of Picturehouse that has racked up more than $1 billion in US Box Office revenue. In addition Oscar winners Panâ€™s Labyrinth and Monster, Berney distributed the two biggest independent films of all time: The Passion of the Christ and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Holdenvilleâ€™s Sterlin Harjo is one of Americaâ€™s finest visual storytellers, creating award-winning films that elevate the lives of everyday people into resonant, enduring character studies. Harjoâ€™s Four Sheets to the Wind was a finalist for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2007. His features Barking Water, This May be the Last Time, and Mekko have won awards and accolades around the world.
Atoka native and Oklahoma State University graduate Matthew Mungle is one of the greatest Special Effects Make-up Artist working in film and television. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards, winning once for Dracula, and 26 Emmy Awards, winning six different times.
Moore native Bradley Beesley is one of Oklahomaâ€™s most renowned storytellers, using documentary film to shine a light on our unique local stories. From Okie Noodling on PBS to Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo on HBO to The Flaming Lipsâ€™ Fearless Freaks on the Sundance channel, Beesley serves up delicious Oklahoma treats for the world.
Tim Blake Nelson
Tulsaâ€™s Tim Blake Nelson is an award-winning actor, writer, and director that has appeared in more than 65 films, including O Brother Where Art Thou? and Lincoln. Nelson began as a playwright, writing Eye of God and The Grey Zone as plays before adapting them into movies. He also wrote and directed Leaves of Grass, O, and Anesthesia.
University of Oklahoma alum Bird Runningwater is a Cheyenne and Mescalero Apache that serves as a Sundance Programmer and Director of the Sundance Instituteâ€™s Native American and Indigenous Program. His local and international work with indigenous filmmakers has helped put Native Cinema on the cultural map and led to multiple nominations at the Independent Spirit and Academy Awards.
Norman resident Chris Freihofer is an actor, producer, teacher, and casting agent that is CEO of Freihofer Casting, the largest and most prolific casting agency in the southwest. As a casting director that also acts on major TV shows like Breaking Bad, Freihofer helps Oklahoma actors plan long term careers and helps directors and producers understand how to create effective work environments on set.
Oklahoma City native Hunt Lowry is a legendary film producer that has thrilled audiences with classic films for more than 30 years. From hilarious comedies like Airplane! to Sundance favorites like Donnie Darko and Oscar winners like The Last of the Mohicans, Lowry has moved seamlessly across genres to create stories that stand the test of time.
Fritz Kiersch founded Oklahomaâ€™s first comprehensive college film program at Oklahoma City Community College and then launched the Moving Image Arts Program at Oklahoma City University. Kiersch also directed the Stephen King horror classic Children of the Corn, which spawned an amazing seven sequels.
Norman native and OU graduate Jill Simpson returned home after 18 years in Hollywood to direct the Oklahoma Film and Music Office. During her tenure, she worked with the legislature to extend the Film Rebate Program through 2024, helping the film industry economic impact to reach $400 million. She currently serves as the Executive Director for the Society for Cinema & Media Studies, dedicated to the scholarly study of film, television, video and new media.
Clark Wiens bought the historic Circle Cinema in Tulsa in 2004, led the renovation efforts, brought the iconic cultural touchstone back to life, and re-established Tulsa as a nationally recognized home for independent film. Through Wienâ€™s efforts, Circle Cinema has become the hub for independent film and filmmakers in Tulsa and all of eastern Oklahoma.