"Believe In Me" Premieres In Tulsa

Friday, March 9th 2007, 10:30 am
By: News On 6

A former Jenks grad is looking to make his mark in Hollywood. “Believe in Me” premieres in Tulsa on Friday. Based on a true story the movie is set in western Oklahoma in the 1960s, and tells the story of a man who reluctantly accepts the job of coaching a high-school girl’s basketball team. One of the producers is a 23-year-old graduate of Jenks High School. The News On 6’s Steve Berg reports it always bothered Sean Dugan that there weren't a lot of movies that featured his home state. So now, he's helped make one.

Like a lot of aspiring movie-makers, Sean Dugan started playing around with cameras as a kid.

"I grew up on the west side of Tulsa, out in the country, and it was just my sister and I," he said. "We would shoot hunting movies or blow up boxes in the backyard and just had a good time."

But he wasn't as happy with the state of his state in motion pictures.

"I grew up watching movies, loving movies, and I was always dissatisfied with the lack of Oklahoma content," Dugan said. "So that was a big goal of mine to put Oklahoma on the map as far as cinema goes."

And that’s what he’s done. The book that "Believe in Me" is based on has been around for more than 30 years. The themes of perseverance, as the girls and their coach try to gain respect in their conservative 1960s town, are reflected in Dugan's efforts too.

"We kind of had that rocky path too, being an independent film, trying to find the distribution to get it out there,” he said. “And that was the biggest challenge, trying to find people who would believe in us as much as we believed in the project. It was just a great story, and I fell in love with it, and I felt like we had to get this movie made."

"Believe in Me" will be released in about 12 cities at first, after that, they'll see how it does and go from there. But it's certainly not unheard of for independent films to take off and become big box-office draws.