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Nebraska Film Series highlights six individuals in growing community

Over the past six weeks, we escaped our usual industry of focus, the tech industry, and put the spotlight on six individuals in our state's burgeoning film industry. The goal of this series, titled "Nebraska Film," was to highlight individuals, companies and organizations who are working hard to grow…

Individuals highlighted in our Nebraska Film Series, from top left to bottom right: Mark Hoeger (photo from oberonentertainment.tv), Nik Fackler on right (photo from nikfackler.com), Dana Altman on right (photo by Paparazzi by Appointment, courtesy of Dana Altman), Heath Mello (photo by Andrea Ciurej), Mark Longbrake (photo by Andrea Ciurej), and Rachel Jacobson (photo courtesy of Film Streams via Flickr).

Over the past six weeks, we escaped our usual industry of focus, the tech industry, and put the spotlight on six individuals in our state’s burgeoning film industry. The goal of this series, titled “Nebraska Film,” was to highlight individuals, companies and organizations who are working hard to grow and establish the state as a place for independent filmmakers.

More than once, we heard comparisons of Omaha’s maturing film industry to that of the city’s independent music industry, which has been established in part because of the work of Saddle Creek Records. Take this quote, for example, from our interview with up-and-coming writer and director Nik Fackler:

“Traditionally, what Omaha has done that’s worked for it, that I’m proud to say I’m from, is that we’re very like ruggedly independent and artistic…when I think about the music scene here, we’re very proud […] I’d want [Omaha’s film community] to be like that and I’d love it if we could just have support to make films more simply. We have all the tools, we have the equipment, we just don’t have the money to make it and to give people.”

Taking off from his last line, we interviewed Nebraska State Senator Heath Mello to hear about his efforts to push for Nebraska film incentives. We also heard from industry veteran and University of Nebraska at Omaha professor Mark Hoeger. “I feel like we’re at that point where we’ve got the kindling of a lot of really good talent,” Hoeger said, “It will just take a little spark to ignite it.”

Marc Longbrake, owner of King Penguin Productions, hopes to be part of the equation, as well. In 2005, he co-founded the annual Omaha Film Festival. “It’s an opportunity for people to mix with each other, enjoy each other’s company and see what each other’s working on,” he said.

One of the films show at the 2010 festival was Fackler’s “Lovely, Still.” The film, which opened in two states on September 10, opens in Omaha tonight. In all, it will show in 18 states.

Here’s the complete list of articles we’ve published for the “Nebraska Film” series:

There are many more individuals, companies, and organizations that deserve to be highlighted for their work in the Nebraska film industry. We must, however, return to our usual focus of highlighting entrepreneurs and creatives in our region’s tech industry. To further explore Nebraska film, I encourage you to read the work of the following writers:

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