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Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo's "Mekko," Shot Mostly in Tulsa, Depicts Homeless Native Americans

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Aired on Wednesday, August 19th.

Our guest on this edition of ST is the locally based filmmaker Sterlin Harjo, who tells us about his latest feature, "Mekko." Most of this movie was shot in Tulsa, and it profiles a Native American ex-con (the film's title character) as he tries to rebuild his life after 19 years behind bars. Mekko has no home, no immediate family, and little cash -- so he soon ends up on the streets, where he's eventually taken in by Tulsa's homeless Native community. At times jovial and off-beat -- and at other times quite dark and mysterious -- this film offers a quiet story of redemption, hope, and the search for belonging. (You can see a trailer for this film, which has recently been included in the line-up for next month's Toronto Film Festival, at this link.) Also, there will be a special benefit screening of "Mekko" tomorrow night, on Thursday the 20th -- with a reception at 5:30pm and the screening proper at 6:30pm -- at Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Tulsa. This screening is a benefit for the nonprofit Iron Gate Food pantry, which routinely serves meals to Tulsa's homeless Native population (some of whom appear in Harjo's film, in fact). Admission to this screening is free, but donations to Iron Gate will be gratefully accepted.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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