Matt Damon, American actor, film producer, and screenwriter, was recently sighted in the heart of downtown Stillwater at Modella Art Gallery, as well as next to the Oklahoma State University campus at The Garage. It is always exciting when Hollywood celebrities visit our community, and a tremendous boost to our economy when they choose Stillwater for a project and stay awhile.

In recent years, Stillwater has been home base for films such as Cowgirls ‘n Angels (2012) and Unplanned (2019), due in great part to the film incentives offered through the Oklahoma film and music office, a department of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.    

On May 7, 2019, Governor Kevin Stitt signed new legislation designed to attract higher-impact film and television productions to our state. Senate Bill 200 increases the state’s film incentive cap and eligibility threshold to host major motion pictures and television series.  

The Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program (Oklahoma Statute Title 68 Section 3621-3626) offers film and television productions a cash rebate of 35-37% on qualifying Oklahoma expenditures when filming in Oklahoma. The rebate currently has a $4 million rolling cap per fiscal year and has been renewed through 2024.

The mission of the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) is to support and connect local, national, and international filmmakers with Oklahoma’s skilled crew, talent, production services, and diverse locations which span across 12 eco-regions. OF+MO also promotes and showcases Oklahoma’s rich musical heritage and connects emerging artists of all genres to music venues and businesses across the state.

To date, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office has estimated $78.2 million in direct spending since the program’s renewal, positively impacting approximately 90 communities in 46 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, including Payne County.  

The deadCenter Film Festival is Oklahoma’s largest film festival and attracted independent films from around the world to downtown Oklahoma City June 6-9, 2019, so there were a substantial number of famous faces, along with those with recognizable names, circulating around our state earlier this month. The Visit Stillwater team works closely with the Oklahoma Film + Music Office to do what we can to welcome productions back to our community. 

Local movie goers and fans need to block out March 6-8, 2020 to attend our very own Red Dirt Film Festival, that was recently honored with the FilmFreeway Top 100 Festivals out of nearly 9,000 festivals held worldwide. The seventh annual film festival will once again base from the Best Western Cimarron Plus Hotel and Suites.