Virtual program highlighting Oklahoma’s growing film industry for 30,000 students

The Oklahoma Film + Music Office is joining forces with Junior Achievement, Creative Oklahoma and Maverick Arts as well as nearly 30 local industry professionals to highlight careers in the state’s film and television industry for more than 30,000 middle and high school students participating in Junior Achievement's Inspire Virtual Program. [Zachary Burns photo]
The Oklahoma Film + Music Office is joining forces with Junior Achievement, Creative Oklahoma and Maverick Arts as well as nearly 30 local industry professionals to highlight careers in the state’s film and television industry for more than 30,000 middle and high school students participating in Junior Achievement’s Inspire Virtual Program. [Zachary Burns photo]

Some of the top talents in Oklahoma’s growing film industry will be sharing their professional insights with tweens and teens through a virtual program launching this week. 

The Oklahoma Film + Music Office is joining forces with Junior Achievement, Creative Oklahoma, Jesse James Films and Maverick Arts as well as nearly 30 local industry professionals to highlight careers in the state’s film and television industry for more than 30,000 middle and high school students participating in Junior Achievement’s Inspire Virtual Program.

Launching Thursday in a live virtual event for students, the collaborative effort will include 20 short films featuring esteemed local filmmakers and production talent across multiple sectors of the industry talking about their work. 

It’s all part of the Junior Achievement virtual career exploration platform. To access the virtual event, go to jainspireok.vfairs.com/en/#about.

Featured careers include acting, special effects, production accounting, screenwriting, makeup arts, casting, production management, grip, gaffer, costume design, production sound mixing, producing, directing, cinematography, music composition, art development and direction and vocal work. 

These films will then be available for student exploration through the end of April, according to a news release.

“In Fiscal Year 20, the film industry had 818 production days by professional film crews with more than 4,200 Oklahomans hired in a wide variety of industry-related skill areas,” said Oklahoma Film + Music Office Director Tava Maloy Sofsky in a statement. “We only see these numbers growing moving forward, and with the Junior Achievement Inspire Virtual Program we are excited to be a part of providing Oklahoma students an inside view of highly rewarding career opportunities in an industry where they can succeed right here in their home state.”

Participating Oklahoma industry professionals whose careers are highlighted as part of Junior Industry Inspire Virtual Program include Michael Andreaus (actor), Tory Ayres-Costello (production accountant), Jacob Burns (editor), Rachel Cannon (co-founder & co-CEO, Prairie Surf Media), Laron Chapman (screenwriter), Reagan Elkins (locations manager), Mollie Fabian (actress), Chris Freihofer (casting director), Nathan Gardocki (unit production manager), A.J.Gundell (music supervisor), Ella Janes (director), Richard Janes (co-creator, Oklahoma Film & Television Academy), Brandon Jones (key grip) and Jennifer Loren (Executive Director, Cherokee Nation Film Office).

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