Last week, the Oklahoma Film Office announced the newest addition to their production board. The feature film Heartland is currently filming in Oklahoma by first-time director Maura Anderson (producer of Winter's Bone, Would You Rather). Ms. Anderson will also serve as producer for the movie along with Oklahoma native Velinda Godfrey (Heartland screenwriter).
Heartland is strong female-driven film. The story centers around Lauren, a young artist in her 20s, living in suburban Oklahoma who moves in with her mother after a tragic personal loss. Velinda Godfrey writes and also stars in the movie alongside fellow Oklahoman Laura Spencer (The Big Bang Theory, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) and Beth Grant (The Mindy Project, Crazy Heart).
Oklahoma-native Godfrey has been wanting to write about her hometown for years. In Heartland, she does so brilliantly. The script bounces between the timeless traditions of an Oklahoma family and their foray into modern life as it is today. Heartland "presents a truthful look at the conflicted lives of ordinary people who are forced to question their allegiance to love and the value of mere tolerance," states Shannah Kristin, writer for The Hollywood Billboard. “This film emulates a reality that we all live in now,” says director Maura Anderson.
Heartland is shooting in Oklahoma for twenty days (started in mid-May). Awarded the Panavision New Filmmaker Grant, which provides camera equipment to filmmakers, the production is also taking advantage of Oklahoma’s generous film incentive, the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program, administered by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office ("OF+MO").
Principal photography on the film takes place in Oklahoma City, Guthrie and the surrounding communities until mid-June. Heartland filmmakers are super excited about their project and generously provide us a glimpse at the film locations the production may end up using, the Heartland cinematic mood board and ideas for production design.
“The production’s use of the film incentives is a testament to the effectiveness of the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program and its ability to allow filmmakers to maximize their budgets while shooting on-location, thereby creating more job opportunities for our local crew and film-friendly businesses,” said OF+MO Director Tava Sofsky.
Heartland is scheduled for release in 2016. I can't wait to see it! Until then, it's fun to follow the cast and crew around as they film on location in Oklahoma. So download the free Instagram app on your smart phone now, if you haven't already.
For more information on filming in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, a LocationsHub client.
PHOTO CREDIT: Banner photo via Heartland's Pinterest.