“Nanyehi” Takes Stage & Screen at Circle Cinema Film Festival

Young Nanyehi receives turkey feather cape honoring her as a tribal leader. (Left to Right) Dragging canoe, played by Travis Fite; Chief Oconasota, played by Michael Stopp; and Chief Attakullakulla, played by Ken Foster.

Published July 5, 2018

Musical performances and short film share compelling story of legendary Cherokee Nancy Ward

TULSA, Okla. —The story of Nancy Ward, legendary Cherokee war woman turned peacemaker, has made its way to the big screen in the short film “Nanyehi.”

The award-winning film will be showcased in Tulsa on July 9 at 7 p.m. as part of the Circle Cinema Film Festival and 90th Birthday Celebration.

The special screening will include live performances from the popular “Nanyehi” musical, followed by a Q&A session with producers and cast.

“We are honored to have been selected to participate in the Circle’s film festival and 90th birthday celebration,” said Becky Hobbs, “Nanyehi” co-writer. “For the first time, we are combining elements from the stage musical with the short film to create a unique and fun experience that you can’t get anywhere else. We look forward to sharing Nanyehi’s message of peace and celebrating Tulsa’s treasured iconic cinema.”

The short film showcases Cherokee Nation citizen Winnie Guess Purdue in the title role, supported by a local cast of 44 from northeast Oklahoma, the vast majority being Cherokee Nation citizens.

Special musical performances will feature Tabitha Littlefield, Travis Fite, Gus Pennington, Angelina Villegas-Cummings, Tommy Cummings and Andy Sanchez.

Tickets for all events are on sale at circlecinema.com and at the box office, located at 10 S. Lewis Ave.

“Nanyehi” depicts the struggle between peace and war and the fight to preserve tribal land in the 18th century. It recently had its public debut at Muskogee’s Bare Bones Film Festival and was recognized with five awards, including the Native American Vision Award and Best Family Short. It also received three Audience Choice Awards for Best Short, Best Theatrical Trailer and Best Theatrical Poster.

The film was co-written by Cherokee Nation citizen Becky Hobbs, who is an award-winning songwriter and recording artist as well as a direct descendant of Nancy Ward. Additional co-writers include Holly Rice and Nick Sweet. The film is scored by Duane Sciacqua and is co-produced by David Webb with Nanyehi Productions LLC in conjunction with Holly Rice Films.

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