2015 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Mr. Shawnee Brittan, ’53
Shawnee Brittan came to OMA in the fall of 1950 and graduated from high school in 1953. He participated in many activities while at OMA but he feels his major contribution came much later.
“I feel that my main contribution to the corps was producing and directing the OMA documentary which premiered at the 2014 Reunion. Because of everyone’s participation we were able to leave this documentary as part of the OMA legacy.”
Brittan has received international acclaim in a career that has spanned many years in film and video production. His award-winning productions include “The Grand Ride of the Abernathy Boys,” a hit of the Oklahoma Centennial; “En Pointe: The Lives and Legacies of Ballet’s Native Americans,” which premiered in New York City; “Sleep My Sons: The Story of the Arisan Maru,” a World War II documentary; “God’s Drum,”featuring Oklahoma’s Native American story-teller Te Ata, and “The American Indian Exposition,” an Academy Award® documentary official selection.
Current projects include “The Downwinders,” a feature film; “Hellship,” a feature film; and “Uncommon Valor: The Battle of Iwo Jima,” a World War II documentary.
He is a recipient of the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts from the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists and Performers. He is a graduate of New York University and Oklahoma State University.
He served eight years on the Oklahoma Film Commission, is a charter member of the American Film Institute, is listed in “Who’s Who in Entertainment,” is a past member of the Academy of Country & Western Music, and is a recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award.
Brittan served as Filmmaker-in-Residence and Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma from 2001 to 2011. At OU he created the Independent Film Project (IFP/OU), an independent motion picture production program.
He worked in Hollywood throughout the 1960s where he was vice president of Celebrity News Service. In1967, he co-founded Media Research Associates, which was Hollywood’s first major outsourcing organization that created marketing, publicity and public relations campaigns for the major motion picture and television studios. In 1971, Media Research Associates was acquired by a major Asian entertainment conglomerate.
He currently serves as vice president of Hollymount Pictures, a start-up production/distribution company in Los Angeles and is consultant to the History Media Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Brittan and his wife, Joanna Champlin, live in Oklahoma City where they are both active in the theater, motion picture and arts communities.