Oklahoma Educational Television Authority to Air Chickasaw “First Encounter” Documentary

First Encounter to be shown on OETA stations

First Encounter to be shown on OETA stations

ADA, OKLAHOMA – The Chickasaw Nation’s first film of the Chickasaw Heritage Series, “First Encounter,” will air on OETA March 19 at 7 p.m.

“First Encounter” earned top honors as Best Short Documentary at the Trail Dance Film Festival in January,

The film chronicles the Chickasaws’ introduction to European explorers in 1540, the tense relationship between the tribe and conquistador Hernando de Soto’s expedition, and the fiery battle between them that virtually ended de Soto’s mission.

First EncounterChickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said it is important to note the documentary tells the story from the Chickasaw point of view.

“Hernando de Soto is a significant historical figure who had a profound effect on the Chickasaw Nation and the history of North America,” said Gov. Anoatubby. “While our first encounter with De Soto has been told from other points of view, we believe our perspective adds significant context to the historical narrative.”

“We believe our tribe’s first encounter with Europeans is a great place to begin this series,” said Gov. Anoatubby. “In coming years, we plan to produce additional documentaries which will offer additional insight into the role the Chickasaw people have played in American history.”

The Chickasaw Nation is making First Encounter available on DVD release to the general public. Currently, it is available for purchase at https://www.chickasawoutpost.com/p-282-first-encounter-dvd-format.aspx. Wider distribution is planned.

Check local listings for OETA channels at  http://www.oeta.tv/tv-schedules

A curriculum teachers may use to accompany the documentary is available at the website below.  https://chickasaw.net/documents/short-term/curriculum/unit-1/cultural-series/elementary-student-lesson-1.aspx

The lesson plan will fulfill Oklahoma Academic Standards related to Creating the United States for elementary students.

The documentary was shot on location in Florida, Mississippi and Oklahoma. It features many Chickasaw citizens and Chickasaw Nation employees. The film is narrated by the late Ed Herrmann, an actor famed for his role in the movie Richie Rich, a regular on television’s The Gilmore Girls, and for his skills as a narrator.

The tribe’s first foray into film-making was in 2010 with release of the 107-minute, critically-acclaimed motion picture Pearl, celebrating the early life of Chickasaw aviatrix and Hall of Fame inductee Pearl Carter Scott.

The Chickasaw Nation completed filming Te Ata in October 2014. The movie is in post-production. A release date has not been announced. It shares the story of Te Ata Thompson Fisher, a Chickasaw entertainer and storyteller, an inductee in both the Oklahoma and Chickasaw Nation halls of fame and Oklahoma’s first state “Treasure” in 1987.

Cast members include actress Q’Orianka Kilcher as Te Ata; Gil Birmingham and Oscar-nominated actor Graham Greene, who received an academy nod for his portrayal as Kicking Bird in Dances with Wolves which starred Kevin Costner.


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