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 culture, 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...

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 is known for his work in more than 50 film and television productions. Most recently Birmingham co-starred alongside Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges in Taylor Sheridan’s critically acclaimed film Hell or High Water. Gil’s powerful performance in Hell or High Water continues to be singled out and highlighted by notable film reviewers, and the film itself was among the nominees for Best Picture in the 2017 Academy Awards. Gil and Taylor recently reunited for Wind River, a feature film written and directed by Sheridan and slated for a summer 2017 release.


Nathan Frankowski [Director]

Canadian born Nathan Frankowski is an award-winning film director who got his start in documentaries where he traveled to over thirty countries. Frankowski’s directing credits for narrative features include NO SAINTS FOR SINNERS (Keith David, James Cosmo), Sony Pictures’ TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS (Kat Dennings, Rupert Friend, Chad Michael Murray), UNLIMITED (Fred Thompson) and THE CHICKASAW RANCHER (Martin Sensmeier, Dermot Mulroney, Tommy Flanagan).

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.


About the Chickasaw Nation