The inaugural Will Rogers Motion Picture Festival was held last weekend in Claremore, celebrating movies from various genres and age groups as a celebration of Rogers having started his own movie career 100 years ago.
The first festival was such a success that a second edition is expected to be held next year, again around the birthday of Rogers, which is Nov. 4, said Pat Reeder of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.
The family-friendly festival consisted of multiple days of movies, lectures, workshops and activities throughout Claremore.
Awards were given out for films in genres including best made-in-Oklahoma movie, best 14-and-under movie, best indigenous shorts and student films, among other categories.
The presentation of the “People’s Choice Award” was made by actor Barry Corbin and Jennifer Rogers-Etcheverry, the great-granddaughter of Will Rogers, to winners Benjamin Dean Wilson and Tyler Robins.
The two men, both of Tulsa, won for their movie “Dead Friend,” a short musical comedy about two friends who “grapple with the idea of death while trying to cope with the sudden loss of their roommate,” Wilson said.
All winners received “Dog Iron Awards,” named after the Dog Iron Ranch and birthplace of Rogers that is east of Oologah.