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Local audience gets sneak peek at ‘August: Osage County’

Actors Chris Cooper, left, and Benedict Cumberbatch film a scene from the movie “August: Osage County” in downtown Pawhuska on Sept. 28, 2012.
Actors Chris Cooper, left, and Benedict Cumberbatch film a scene from the movie “August: Osage County” in downtown Pawhuska on Sept. 28, 2012.

BARTLESVILLE — A local audience attended an advance screening of the yet-to-be-released and much-anticipated film, “August: Osage County” on Tuesday night.

Hosted by the Bartlesville Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and The Weinstein Company, which produced the film, the audience included state legislators, area businesses that may have benefited from the movie being shot on locations around Bartlesville and Pawhuska in late 2012, as well as several individuals who either appeared in the film as extras or worked as part of the extended crew.

Osage County residents will recognize much of the background scenery including filming locations in Pawhuska, Barnsdall and the now-famous Boulanger home.

Maria Gus, executive director of the BC&VB, spoke briefly before the invitation-only showing at Bartlesville’s Movies 8 theater and asked attendees to raise their hands if they owned a business that was impacted or participated in the film’s production in some way. Several hands throughout the theater shot up.

“I think that if we kept going we would see that the majority of the people in this room were somehow economically affected and benefited from ‘August: Osage County’ being in our community,” said Gus. “It’s good for the entire state of Oklahoma, which has been an economic engine in having film incentives.”

Gus recognized state legislators Reps. Steve Martin and Earl Sears and acknowledged Oklahoma’s film incentive program that provides 35-37 percent cash rebates for money spent on film projects in the state and up to 25 percent tax credits for projects produced in or facilities built in the state. She said Oklahoma’s incentives and the work and cooperation of the Oklahoma Film & Music Office made “August: Osage County” and the recent Terrence Malick film, “To the Wonder,” possible.

“August: Osage County” is scheduled to open in select theaters on Christmas day. The film is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play of the same name by playwright and native Oklahoman Tracy Letts. Directed by John Wells and co-produced by George Clooney, the movie features an all-star cast including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor, among several other top Hollywood actors.

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