Chickasaw Nation film to share story of native actress at 2016 San Diego International Film Festival

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Release Date: September 29, 2016

SAN DIEGO – A special screening of “Te Ata,” a film based on the inspirational true story of Chickasaw storyteller Mary Thompson Fisher, will be a part of the San Diego International Film Festival, Sept. 28 – Oct. 2.

The Chickasaw Nation-produced film will be presented at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at ArcLight Cinemas, Westfield UTC, 4425 La Jolla Village Drive.

Produced by the Chickasaw Nation, the feature film shines a light on the remarkable life of the Chickasaw storyteller best known by her stage name, Te Ata, which means “bearer of the morning.”

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said the Chickasaw Nation produced the film as part of an effort to tell the story of the Chickasaw people and the Chickasaw Nation.

“As a performing artist, Te Ata was a significant part of a movement that helped members of the public view Native Americans as a vital part of American society.” said Gov. Anoatubby. “Her performances touched the lives of thousands of families who learned to better appreciate the positive contributions Native Americans have made to this great country.”

Based on her remarkable life and legacy, “Te Ata” shares her story of breaking cultural barriers and changing public perception during a storied career which spanned from the 1920s through the 1980s.
Directed by Nathan Frankowski and produced by Paul Sirmons , several award-winning Native American actors help bring the story based on Te Ata’s life to the silver screen.

Q'orianka Kilcher  is Te Ata and Gil Birmingham is cast as Te Ata’s father, Thomas Benjamin (T.B.) Thompson.

Oscar-nominee Graham Greene plays Chickasaw Gov. Douglas H. Johnston; Brigid Brannagh , is cast as Te Ata’s mother; and MacKenzie Astin  plays Te Ata’s husband, renowned scientist and anthropologist Dr. Clyde Fisher.

For more information about the San Diego International Film Festival, visit or call 619-818-2221.

About the Chickasaw Nation

With more than 60,000 citizens, the Chickasaw Nation is the 12th largest federally-recognized Native American tribe in the United States. The Chickasaw Nation has an annual economic impact of more than $2.4 billion in Oklahoma. The tribe has more than 13,000 employees. A democratic republic with executive, legislative and judicial departments, the tribe's jurisdictional territory includes all or part of 13 counties in south-central Oklahoma.

For more information about “Te Ata” the movie, visit, Facebook page or “@TeAtaMovie” on Twitter and Instagram. Connect with “Te Ata” social media on all platforms using #TeAtaMovie.

About the Chickasaw Nation