About Te Ata

Te Ata the Movie

Te Ata (TAY’ AH-TAH) is based on the inspiring, true story of Mary Thompson Fisher, a woman who traversed cultural barriers to become one of the greatest Native American performers of all time. Born in Indian Territory, and raised on the songs and stories of her Chickasaw tribe, Te Ata’s journey to find her true calling led her through isolation, discovery, love and a stage career that culminated in performances for a United States president, European royalty and audiences across the world.  Yet, of all the stories she shared, none are more inspiring than her own.

Te Ata has been approved by The Dove Foundation for family viewing.

Mary Thompson Fisher

Mary Thompson Fisher was born Dec. 3, 1895, near Emet, Oklahoma. Mary later took the stage name and became well known as “Te Ata” which means “Bearer of the Morning.” A citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, Te Ata was an accomplished actor and teller of Native American stories.

During the prime of her more than 60-year career, she performed in England and Scandinavia, at the White House for President Franklin Roosevelt, for the King and Queen of Great Britain, and on stages across the United States...


Tulsa American Film Festival

Te Ata will be featured at the second Tulsa American Film Festival Oct. 15 at 3 p.m.

The festival showcases feature and short films from the United States. The new independent works highlight Native American, Latino, student and Oklahoma-based filmmakers.

To reserve tickets for the Tulsa festival, click here. The screening of Te Ata is free, but seating will be first come, first serve. For additional festival information, visit www.tulsaamericanfilmfest.com.

San Diego Film Festival

One of seven films in the narrative spotlight, Te Ata has been chosen as an official selection at the San Diego Film Festival. Te Ata will screen Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m.

Click here to reserve a ticket. For additional festival information, visit www.sdfilmfest.com.

Gallup Film Festival

We are excited to announce that Te Ata will be featured at the Gallup Film Festival in Gallup, New Mexico, Sept. 17 at 7:15 p.m. in the beautiful El Morro Theatre.

In its fourth year, the festival brings locals to the vibrant native community to experience thought provoking and game changing films from across the country.

To purchase a ticket, call (505) 722-8982 and request a ticket for the "C Block," for additional festival information visit www.GallupFilmFestival.com.

Traverse City Film Festival

Te Ata has been selected as the feature film presented during the Native American Matinee at the Traverse City Film Festival on Sunday, July  31, 2016.

The Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF) is an annual event, founded in 2005 by Academy Award-Winning director Michael Moore. The festival is a charitable, educational, nonprofit organization committed to the idea that “One Great Movie Can Change You: Just Great Movies” and to helping save one of America’s few indigenous art forms — the cinema. Films and filmmakers from around the world are expected to journey to Northern Michigan for this year’s festival.

The Bentonville Film Festival

We are excited to announce Te Ata has been selected as one of 18 narrative feature films to be showcased during the 2nd annual Bentonville Film Festival May 3-8, 2016.

Founded by Academy Award Winner® Geena Davis and festival co-founder Trevor Drinkwater in 2015, BFF’s mission is to champion women and diverse voices in media. The festival takes place each year in early May in Bentonville, Arkansas. The May event is designed to inspire action and to bring together decision makers and content creators with the goal of ensuring media represents the world we live in which is 51% women and very diverse. BFF strives to work with content creators to inspire young minds because if they can see it they can be it.

Music Video

"Toward the Rising Sun" featuring Tabitha Fair, produced by the Chickasaw Nation.


Q'orianka Kilcher [Te Ata]

At the age of 14, Q’orianka Kilcher emerged into the front ranks of young actors with her portrayal of Pocahontas opposite Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in Terrence Malick’s Oscar nominated film The New World, an epic about the encounter between English and North American societies in the early 1600s.

Graham Greene [Governor Douglas H. Johnston]

Graham Greene was born at Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada, June 22, 1952. After working at several jobs that included draughting, high steel work, welding, carpentry and audio engineering, he took up acting. He traveled to England and South America where he performed in, and taught, theatre.

Gil Birmingham [Thomas Benjamin Thompson]

Award-winning actor Gil Birmingham has appeared in more than 40 film and television productions. Birmingham generated public acclaim for his portrayal as Billy Black in the blockbuster films TwilightNew MoonEclipse and Breaking Dawn, based on the best-selling books by Stephenie Meyer.


Nathan Frankowski [Director]

Nathan Frankowski is an international director whose work has taken him to more than 30 countries. He's best known for directing the successful 2008 documentary Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed, which was the highest grossing doc of 2008, bringing in $8 million at the box office.

Paul Sirmons [Producer]

Paul Sirmons’ career as a director, producer, line producer and production manager in both movies and TV covers 35 years. He served as Florida’s State Film Commissioner in the office of Governor Jeb Bush from 2005 to 2008, where he created Florida’s film incentive program that has attracted thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in direct spending to the state.

Esther Luttrell [Screenwriter]

Esther Luttrell’s career as writer, screenwriter, director and producer in both movie and TV covers more than 25 years and includes both MGM and CBS. She is the author of Tools of the ScreenWriting Trade, used by the Writers Guild of America as a screenwriting standard and Screen Writers Q & A. She has written 12 published novels.