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...


Orlando Film Festival

We are excited to announce that Te Ata will be featured at the second Orlando Film Festival Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Orlando, Florida.

The mission of the Orlando Film Festival is to support and promote culture and art through film. The festival seeks to inspire student, current and future filmmakers in the art of filmmaking, and to enhance the movie viewing experience through creative, unique and entertaining events.

To reserve tickets for the Orlando Film Festival, click here. For additional festival information, visit www.orlandofilmfest.com.

LA Femme Film Festival

We are pleased to announce that Te Ata will be featured at the La Femme Film Festival in Beverly Hills, California, on Oct. 20 at 2 p.m.

The festival was created in 2005 and showcases a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and diverse festival devoted to women in key positions of film.

To reserve tickets for the festival, click here. For additional festival information, visit www.lafemme.org.

Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

Te Ata will be featured at the 8th Annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Friday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 22 at 4:30 p.m.

The festival advances independent, innovative and cutting edge cinema and brings five days of excellence in filmmaking to the inclusive and diverse community of Santa Fe.

Click here to reserve tickets for the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, click. The screening of Te Ata is $15.00. For additional festival information, visit www.santafeindependent.com.

Heartland Film Festival

Te Ata will be screened four times at the 25th Annual Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana. Screenings are Oct. 22 at 12:45 p.m., Oct. 23 at 8:15 p.m., Oct. 24 at 2:15 p.m. and Oct. 25 at 12:30 p.m.

The Indiana festival highlights movies that make a positive impact on audiences — movies that showcase the human spirit.

To reserve tickets for the Heartland Film Festival, click here. For additional festival information, visit www.heartlandfilm.org.

Film Columbia

Te Ata has been selected to screen at Film Columbia on Oct. 28 in Chatham, New York, at 5:30 p.m.

Hosted by The Chatham Film Club and Crandell Theatre, FilmColumbia offers film buffs an exciting long weekend of film screenings and opportunities to meet the filmmakers. In its 14th year, several films have gone on to garner industry and critic awards and nominations.

Click here to purchase tickets, or visit www.filmcolumbia.org for more information.

American Indian Film Festival

We are happy to announce the screening of Te Ata at the 41st American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco on Thursday, Nov 10 at 7 p.m.

As the nation’s oldest and most prestigious venue for American Indian film arts and entertainment, the American Indian Film Festival is the world’s longest-running exposition showcasing independent films of U.S. American Indians and First Nations peoples of Canada.

Click here to reserve tickets for the American Indian Film Festival. For additional festival information, visit www.aifisf.com.

High Falls Film Festival

Te Ata will be screened at the 14th Annual High Falls Film Festival in Rochester, New York, on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 3:15 p.m.

The festival celebrates the artistry and innovation of women in film — behind the camera, in leading roles on the screen and at the heart of storylines. Our focus on women in film is inspired by our city’s legacy as the birthplace of film and the women’s rights movement.

Click here to reserve festival passes for the High Falls Film Festival. For additional festival information, visit www.highfallsfilmfestival.com.

Previous Film Festivals

Tulsa American Film Festival - Oct. 15
Best Feature Film Actress - Q’orianka Kilcher

San Diego Film Festival – Oct. 1
Winner of the Kumeyaay Eagle Award

Gallup Film Festival – Sept. 17
Audience Choice Award-Best Drama Feature
Best Cinematography • Best Screenplay
Best Male Performance-Gil Birmingham
Best Original Music

Traverse City Film Festival – July 31
Native American Matinee

Bentonville Film Festival – May 4

Music Video

"Toward the Rising Sun" performed by Chickasaw artist Tabitha Fair, produced by Chickasaw Records.

Purchase the single "Toward the Rising Sun"

The first single from the film Te Ata is now available online.


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.