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September 25, 2017


Sept. 25, 2017


Shagah Zakerion

CONTACT Neely Tsoodle
PR Manager
P.O. Box 580
Okmulgee, OK 74447
(918) 758-6599



Tulsa American Film Festival Honors Will Sampson with Retrospective Series

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa American Film Festival will honor Oklahoma Native American painter, actor and performer Will Sampson with a film retrospective screening at the Philbrook Museum downtown, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” on Oct. 2 at Circle Cinema, and “Poltergeist II” showing Oct. 13 also at Circle Cinema (“The Outlaw Josey Wales” was shown on Sept. 15).

The festival, which focuses on Native American, Latino, Oklahoma-based, and student filmmakers, chose to recognize Sampson for his profound contributions to the film industry and representation of Native Americans in film.

Sampson’s daughter, Andra Freeman, is proud to see her father’s work honored.

“June marked the 30-year anniversary of my dad’s passing,” Freeman said. “Although gone, he is not forgotten, by family and his fans alike. I am truly grateful to the Tulsa American Film Festival for the Retrospective of Dad’s work, further promoting his legacy and inspiration for the next generations.”

Sampson is best known for his performance in Academy Award winning film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” where he played Chief Bromden. For local film maker Sterlin Harjo, this performance made a lasting impact on his own work.

“Will Sampson is a pioneer for all native people in cinema because he gave one of the first performances of a contemporary native on screen,” Harjo said. “Sampson as Chief is a three-dimensional, complex human being informed by his nativeness but not burdened by cliché. He helped make it ok for natives to be normal human beings. He helped us be, right now. And he’s ours, Muscogee (Creek), Oklahoman, he is ours and someone to be proud of.”

Principal Chief James R. Floyd of Muscogee (Creek) Nation joins the TAFFest in supporting Sampson’s legacy.

“It is with great honor that we welcome the works of the great Will Sampson,” Chief Floyd said. “Today, the late actor is one of the most notable and recognizable Mvskoke citizens and for that we are proud to call him our own. We want to say Mvto (thank you) to the Tulsa American Film Festival for bringing attention to his life’s work in these movie classics.”

Floyd will be on hand to make remarks as well as TAFFest’s Director Ben Arredondo.

Individual tickets to screenings can be purchased online for $6-$8 at

About the Tulsa American Film Festival: Tulsa American Film Festival serves the Tulsa community through the world of film and creates opportunities for industry professionals by offering programs of American-made feature and short films of all genres, with a focus on American filmmakers, local Oklahoma films, Native American produced films and student films, and including industry driven panels and discussions.