EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – A new movie about the relationship between a first-generation American immigrant and an undocumented 10-year-old is the latest project to be shot in Oklahoma as the state’s film industry continues to grow.
The movie, “Land of Gold,” will be featured at the Tribeca Film Festival as well as on HBO Max this coming year.
Producer and actress Pallavi Sastry says the film revolves around a cross-country road trip and they were looking for a place that had many different types of environments.
Being a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she thought the state would fit their needs.
“I thought, ‘I know the perfect place for that,'” she said. “I pitched Oklahoma to our team and they went for it and I showed them all the topography…it was not a difficult sell.”
Writer and director Nardeep Khurmi says he was won over by the idea fairly quickly.
“She started showing me photos of these beautiful landscapes that you have here,” he said. “The big open sky just connected with me and I said, ‘This is the world we need to be in.’ And this is what this film needs.”
Khurmi says he felt it was only appropriate to tell a story about immigrants during a time where the country was accepting thousands of Afghan refugees.
“This is a huge story for me to tell. I’m an immigrant myself,” he said. “Oklahoma has a rich history of resettlement of immigrant communities. The Vietnam War and now the [Afghan refugees], and I think it’s part of the American responsibility to celebrate these stories.”
He says that connection from the story to what’s happening in the state gives this story additional meaning.
“I’m proud to be here while that resettlement’s happening,” he said. “To be telling this story while that’s happening and we’re assisting these people from over there to come here and start new lives is incredible.”