“TE ATA” Story of Remarkable Chickasaw Women to be screened at Athena Film Festival

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office, Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Release Date: February 05, 2018


NEW YORK --- The true story of an inspirational Native American actress will be shared at an annual New York City film festival which is dedicated to telling the extraordinary stories of strong, bold women.

Chickasaw Nation Productions’ “TE ATA” will be screened at the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College, 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23, at the Minor Latham Playhouse, located at 117 Street and Broadway.

The movie shines a light on the remarkable life of Chickasaw actress Mary Thompson Fisher, who is best known by her stage name, Te Ata.

Te Ata, which means “bearer of the morning,” was a Chickasaw performer who spent the majority of her career sharing the beauty and wisdom of Native American culture with audiences around the globe.

The film is based on the life and legacy of Te Ata and shares her story of breaking cultural barriers and changing public perception during her storied career, which spanned from the 1920s until her death in 1995.

During its recent theatrical release, critics praised “TE ATA’s” message of resilience, perseverance and determination.

“You could say that Te Ata is one of many “Hidden Figures” in the Native American culture,Deadline’s Anita Busch said.

Directed by Nathan Frankowski and directed 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.

Creative Director for the Chickasaw Nation Jeannie Barbour will participate in a question and answer session following the film screening.

Barbour served as a cultural consultant and script writer on “TE ATA.”

About The Athena Film Festival

The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College is a weekend of inspiring films that tell the extraordinary stories of strong, bold women leaders from all walks of life – stories of ambition, courage, resilience and moxie.

The curated program includes Academy Award-nominated films, top-tier features, documentaries and shorts, including U.S. and world premieres.

It is a weekend that celebrates the stories of remarkable women - stories that need to be told and deserve to be honored.

The festival is a project of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard and Women and Hollywood, a leading voice for women in the entertainment industry.

The Artemis Rising Foundation and its CEO Regina K. Scully is the festival’s founding sponsor. The eighth annual Athena Film Festival will be conducted Feb. 22-25, 2018.

Festival and screening information can be found at https://athenafilmfestival.com/festival-info/schedule/

For more information about “TE ATA” visit teatathemovie.com.

About the Chickasaw Nation