“Te Ata” to shine light on Chickasaw actress at Bentonville Film Festival

TeAtaPortraitPublished May 1, 2016

BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS — “Te Ata,” based on the inspirational true story of Chickasaw storyteller Mary Thompson Fisher, is among the elite films selected for competition at the Bentonville (Arkansas) Film Festival (BFF).

The first public screening of “Te Ata” will be 1:30 p.m., May 4 at BFF, a weeklong film festival which champions women and diverse voices in media.

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 that Te Ata was a great ambassador for Chickasaw people and all Native Americans.

“Te Ata brought the beauty and wisdom of Native American culture to the world in a way that helped develop greater appreciation for core values such as basic human kindness and respect for the natural world,” said Gov. Anoatubby. “We became involved in filmmaking because we believe it is important to tell our own story. We made this film to share the legacy of a remarkable Chickasaw woman with audiences around the world.”

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.

Both Kilcher and Birmingham are expected to attend the May 4 “Te Ata” BFF screening and take part in the post-screening panel, along with producer Paul Sirmons.

Malarie Drake, of Dover, Arkansas, who plays Te Ata’s sister, Avis Thompson; is also scheduled to attend the screening.

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

A question and answer session is planned after the Bentonville screening.

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

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