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Press Release

Release Date: November 13, 2019

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office



  • The 2016 film “Te Ata” is one of several feature films and documentaries made by Chickasaw Nation Productions available at a discount for Native American Heritage Month.

ADA, Okla. – Chickasaw Nation Productions films and documentaries will be discounted 20% online at ChickasawFilms.com throughout November in honor of Native American Heritage Month.

The promotional code to apply the 20% discount is NAH20. This coupon code is valid for one time use only and cannot be combined with other offers.

The same code can be used for in-person purchases at the register at the Chickasaw Holiday Market Nov. 22 through Dec. 31 at 105 W. Main St., Ada.

“Te Ata,” “Pearl” and “First Encounter” are among the films available.

“Te Ata”

“Te Ata” 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.

After its theatrical release, critics praised the film’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 Hollywood’s Anita Busch said.

Directed by Nathan Frankowski and 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 portrays Te Ata and Gil Birmingham is cast as Te Ata’s father, Thomas Benjamin (T.B.) Thompson.

Oscar-nominee Graham Greene plays Chickasaw Nation Governor 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.

In addition to the feature film, Chickasaw Nation Productions offers the documentary “Bearer of the Morning – The Life of Te Ata Thompson Fisher.”

Using archival footage, family interviews and Te Ata’s own words, the documentary offers a rare glimpse into Te Ata’s personal life and her mission to share and promote Native American culture worldwide.

“Pearl”

Set in 1920s rural Oklahoma, the feature film “Pearl” is based on the remarkable true story of Chickasaw aviatrix, Pearl Carter Scott – the youngest licensed pilot in American history. Mentored by world-renowned aviator Wiley Post, Pearl first pilots a plane at the age of 12 and becomes a commercial pilot and local celebrity before she reaches adulthood. As she finds love and becomes a wife and mother, her two greatest passions collide.

Elijah DeJesus portrays Pearl Carter Scott. Angela Gair plays Pearl’s strong Chickasaw mother, Lucy Carter. The film also stars Andrew Sensenig, Carmeron Rostami, Paden Brown and Sean Cain.

The film was named the best overall film and the best Native American film at the 2010 Trail Dance Film Festival. The film was also named a Heartland Film Festival official selection. The film is one of only 13 feature films chosen for the distinction out of more than 600 submissions to Heartland, which is well known as one of the largest family oriented film festivals in the world.

“Pearl” also won a prestigious “Best of Show” award from The Indie Fest, and swept the feature docudrama category at the International Cherokee Film Festival.

The Dove Foundation awarded “Pearl” four “doves,” giving the film its “family-approved” seal for all ages.

Pearl’s story is presented in documentary form with Chickasaw Nation Productions’ “Pearl Carter Scott: On Top of the World.”

“First Encounter”

“First Encounter” explores the actions taken by Chickasaws in 1540 during their first contact with Europeans. The documentary highlights the encounters, struggles and perseverance of the Chickasaw people throughout Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto’s attempted conquest. It was the first European contact for the Chickasaw and established the reputation for which the tribe would be recognized for centuries and still remains today - “unconquered and unconquerable.”