Charles H. Red Corn’s novel of murder in oil-rich 1920’s Osage Country, A Pipe for February, has been greenlit for production as a feature film.
Set in 1924 Pawhuska, the story is told from the perspective of an Osage tribal member, the fictitious John Grayeagle, who along with his family and friends try to escape from individuals preying on the tribes’ newfound wealth due to the discovery of oil reserves on their land. Their decisions have far-reaching impact on the Osage people as the tribe tries to “live in both the past and the future.”
Osage director Scott Javine, a professional in the film and television industries for 30 years, wrote the screen adaptation. Yancey Red Corn, son of the author, and former Principal Chief of the Osage Nation Jim Gray are the film’s Executive Producers.
“The project has been in discussion for several years and took most of 2015 to complete the screenplay,” Javine said in a release.
Though Red Corn says his goal for A Pipe for February is to make a film, it provides a chance to explain the turbulence of the Osage oil boom and its subsequent ‘Reign of Terror’ through the eyes of an Osage protagonist unlike other tales about the notorious crimes committed then, that were focused on the greed of government officials and local businessmen like William ‘King of the Osage Hills’ Hale.
“The ‘Reign of Terror’ is familiar to the Osage people, but it remains largely unknown to the outside world. The opportunity is here to produce a film that not only shows our struggle and drama of the 1920s, but also one that ‘educates by entertainment’ and enlightens other historical aspects of the Osage people,” he said in a release. “It is my father’s hope that this book would one day be made into a film, our goal is to make a movie worthy of my father’s vision and put it on the screen.”
As Rhonda Dean-Kyncle, Associate Dean for Students and Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma indicates in Plains Tribe Literature; A Pipe for February “cuts against the grain” of what most people have come to expect of ‘typical’ Native American stories.
This is equally true of the film, according to Gray, there are no White Saviors or Hollywood NDNs.
“The white man does not swoop in to save the day in A Pipe for February,” he explained in a release. “The film is the all too rare story where the Indians are not Hollywood stereotypes. These Native Americans are not the war paint-wearing bad guys; the sad, downtrodden, persecuted underdog or the idiot, mono-syllabic comedy relief. In the novel and screenplay, the Indian characters are educated citizens. These are definitely not typical movie Indians and are very unique because of it.”
Indian Nations, llc. a film company based in the Osage Nation in Oklahoma is currently raising capital for the film. For more info, contact Jim Gray at (918) 606-4834 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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