In the summer of 1985, a small town in Oklahoma suffered an unimaginable tragedy.
Set in the backdrop of rural America with the people that call it home, “Terlton” is a story of loss, redemption and the power of a community to move forward.
On Tuesday, June 25 one-fourth of the town was killed in an explosion at the Aerlex Fireworks Plant.
After their incredible loss, the small town faced several hardships challenging its existence and future. In spite of everything, the community of Terlton remains strong. Each year, the town comes together with a defiantly triumphant Fourth of July celebration - an explosive memorial of life and love in the face of adversity.
If you’re not from a small town in the South, it’s hard to understand that world - the people and the hardships they face.
“Terlton” seeks to not only dispel myths of rural America by introducing a national and regional audience to real people who have suffered, but also to celebrate their resilience, strength and love.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
BOBBY DEAN ORCUTT
“Terlton” seeks to capture and pay tribute to a community as they overcome the tragedy of 1985 and face the frenzied disappearance of small town America. Critically acclaimed filmmakers and musicians from Oklahoma are partnering to create a visual memorial to Terlton.
To reach national audiences, the team will enter prestigious film festivals and to connect regionally, “Terlton” will host several screenings.
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"Terlton, Oklahoma" is about the power of community. We need your support to tell their story. Be a part of the community today.
Sterlin Harjo, a member of the Seminole Nation, was raised in Holdenville, Okla. and attended the University of Oklahoma where he studied art and film.
He received a fellowship from the Sundance Institute in 2004. Harjo's first feature film, “Four Sheets to the Wind,” premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated for the grand jury prize. Harjo was named best director at the 2007 American Indian Film Festival. His second feature, “Barking Water,” premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and was named best drama film at the 2009 American Indian Film Festival.
Harjo's feature documentary, “This May Be the Last Time,” explores the subject of Creek Nation hymns and their connection to Scottish, folk, gospel and rock music. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.His third feature film, “Mekko,” a thriller set in Tulsa, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2015.
He also is an Emmy Award-winning director and producer of Cherokee Nation’s monthly television news magazine, “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People.”
Osiyo is produced by Fire Thief Productions LLC, a Native American production company co-founded by Harjo with Cherokee photographer and visual artist, Jeremy Charles. The Tulsa-based production company has produced a series of short documentaries exploring modern Native American culture in Oklahoma titled.
For more information, visit sterlinharjo.com.
Jeremy Charles is a photographer, visual artist, filmmaker, Emmy Award-winning director and producer of Cherokee Nation’s monthly television news magazine, “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People”and co-founder of Fire Thief Productions LLC.
Charles’ photography specializes in advertising, editorial assignments, music and architecture. He is best known for creative portraits of musicians, public figures and athletes.
Charles worked 10 year as an art director, which greatly informs his approach as a photographer. He speaks the language of design and understand what makes a photograph both beautiful and useful. From directing large scale productions to a solo journalistic approach, he strives to make great work every day and to have fun doing it.
BOBBY DEAN ORCUTT
Bobby Dean Orcutt is a writer and tour production manager from Tulsa, OK with family from Terlton, OK. The entrepreneur and owner of the award winning Okie Tone Records works alongside some of the most respected individuals in American music today. He currently resides in Nashville, TN where he pursues various creative endeavors.