Celebrated Oklahoma filmmaker Sterlin Harjo will show and discuss his latest film, “Mekko,” during an April 11 event at Rogers State University’s Claremore campus.
The screening will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, April 11, in the Will Rogers Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
Harjo and Wotko Long of Muskogee, who was a principal actor in the film, will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions afterwards.
Harjo wrote and directed the film that combines both gritty realism and indigenous legend. Filmed almost entirely in Tulsa, “Mekko” tells the story of the title character who is a Muscogee ex-con recently released from prison after serving 19 years for murder. Shunned by his family, Mekko (played by long-time Hollywood stunt performer Rod Rondeaux) winds up in Tulsa’s homeless community, reunites with an old friend, Bunnie (Long), and makes a new one with a local waitress (Sarah Podemski).
Mekko later runs afoul of Bill (Zahn McClarnon), who attacks Mekko and Bunnie while they sleep. Remembering a story his grandmother told him, Mekko becomes convinced that Bill is an evil witch or shape-shifter from Muscogee legend.
The film was screened last year at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Stockholm International Film Festival. A trailer for “Mekko” can be found online.
A member of the Seminole Nation with Muscogee (Creek) heritage, Harjo first gained critical and audience acclaim with his films “Goodnight, Irene” (2005), “Four Sheets to the Wind” (2007) and “Barking Water” (2009). He also directed the 2014 documentary, “This May Be the Last Time,” which featured RSU Professor Dr. Hugh Foley.
In 2010, Harjo served as a jury member for the Sundance Film Festival and in 2009 as an Advisor for the Sundance Institute Ford Foundation Film Fellowship. He also is a founding member of the comedy collective The 1491s, which was featured in an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.