Sterlin Harjo

Writer-director Sterlin Harjo (center) instructs actors during filming in downtown Tulsa. He has created a series for FX that will be set in Oklahoma and begin filming in the state early next year. Courtesy/Chuck Foxen

Tulsa filmmaker Sterlin Harjo, whose indie films about the lives of contemporary Native Americans have shot in Tulsa, will now write and produce a new series for FX that will also be filmed in Oklahoma.

The cable channel series, “Reservation Dogs,” will follow the lives of a group of teens in a Native American housing project in Oklahoma who commit crimes as well as fight crimes.

News of the series was first reported by the “Discussing Film” website.

“It’s happening, and Taika (Waititi) and I created it, and it’s going to film in Oklahoma, which is cool, and that’s really all I can say about it right now,” Harjo said of the report.

“I’ll be able to say more soon.”

He is working on the series, as writer and executive producer, with filmmaker Taika Waititi, the creative mind behind indie films, Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” and his new movie, “Jojo Rabbit,” which is opening in Tulsa on Friday after generating Oscar buzz by winning the top award at September’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Waititi will reportedly write, executive produce and direct at least the pilot episode of the series, which is being developed by Scott Rudin Productions, the producer of Waititi’s existing FX series, “What We Do in the Shadows.”

Harjo, a Holdenville native and a Seminole/Creek Indian, has previously directed three feature films.

Those movies — “Four Sheets to the Wind,” “Barking Water” and “Mekko” — all filmed in Oklahoma, and in addition to his documentaries, all have put a contemporary focus on Native American people.

A visual storyteller who trained through the Sundance Institute and who has premiered multiple films at the Sundance Film Festival, Harjo has written, directed and produced all of his projects.


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Michael Smith

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