Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT) proudly announces the release of a new documentary that examines the pivotal role that Choctaw soldiers played in helping shape an earlier end of World War I.
In 1918, not yet citizens of the United States, Choctaw members of the American Expeditionary Forces were asked by the government to use their Native language as a powerful tool against the German Forces in World War I, setting a precedent for code talking as an effective military weapon and establishing them as America’s Original Code Talkers.
Co-produced by Red-Horse Native Productions, Inc., Valhalla Motion Pictures and Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT), Choctaw Code Talkers will transport viewers back to World War I for an intimate and engaging look into the lives of these brave men, their families, their dreams and their patriotism to a country who would remember them as heroes, but not until after their death.
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“The government had sworn them to secrecy about what they did,” said Evangeline Wilson, relative of Code Talkers Mitchell Bobb and James Edwards, Sr.
Choctaw Code Talkers is a follow-up to the award-winning documentary True Whispers: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers, a PBS nationally broadcast documentary produced by Valerie Red-Horse, President, of Red-Horse Native Productions, Inc. with Gale Anne Hurd, CEO, of Valhalla Motion Pictures.
“By launching the original concept of code talking for secure military communications, these brave Choctaw men laid the foundation for all other battlefield code talkers, including the Navajo, who were so instrumental in World War II. Even though it is overdue, nearly 100 years since their service, I am honored to be a part of bringing this important American story to the screen,” Red-Horse said.
In World War I, by 1918, the German Forces had deciphered the Allied Forces’ radio codes, tapped into their phone lines and captured messenger runners in order to anticipate the Allied strategies. The Allied Forces were desperate to attain secure communications and requested Choctaw soldiers to use their language to transmit messages in the field and from the trenches
“If you don’t have secure communications, it will end in stalemate or defeat,” stated Matt Reed, Curator of the American Indian and Military History Collections at the Oklahoma Museum of History.
“This is an important story of heroic men whose wartime contributions helped to change the course of world history. Their Code was created while the men risked their lives fighting in Northern France during the fiercest and bloodiest battles of World War I. The Choctaw American Indian soldiers outwitted their German opponents, turning the tide of the War and ensuring the Allied victory,” said Hurd.
Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) shares Native stories with the world through support of the creation, promotion and distribution of Native media. Founded in 1977, through various media—public television, public radio and the Internet—NAPT brings awareness of Indian and Alaska Native issues. NAPT operates the AIROS Native Network, a 24/7 Internet radio station that features music, news, interviews, documentaries and audio theater. AIROS also features downloadable podcasts with Native filmmakers, musicians and Tribal leaders. VisionMaker Video is the premier source for quality Native American educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media—to be the next generation of storytellers. NAPT is located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. NAPT offers student employment, internships and fellowships. Reaching the general public and the global market is the ultimate goal for the dissemination of Native-produced media.
Additional Information Regarding Choctaw Code Talkers:
Run time: 56:40
Broadcast feed dates/times:
NOLA Code SD: CCTK 00 KI
Release/Feed Date SD: Saturday, October 23, 2010, at 1900-2000ET/SD07;
National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA)
Credits: Co-produced by Red-Horse Native Productions, Inc., Valhalla Motion Pictures and Native American Pub Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT).
Funding for Choctaw Code Talkers: Major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding provided by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Press Kit available online at: nativetelecom.org/choctawcodetalkers
About Valerie Red-Horse (Cherokee), Producer/Director/Writer
Valerie Red-Horse, who is of Cherokee ancestry, is the owner/founder of Red-Horse Native Productions, Inc. which has become the pre-eminent collaborator with American Indian Tribal Nations to bring important Native stories accurately and respectfully to the screen. Red-Horse’s body of work spans over two decades of film and television content creation and production; always proving insightful, sensitive and unique perspectives for both the historical and contemporary indigenous story.
From the Company’s premiere feature film—Naturally Native, an official Sundance Festival selection which Red-Horse wrote, produced, co-directed, starred in and distributed, to Pop Hunter’s Dew Drop Inn, a PBS/NAPT short about an American Indian owned legendary night club—Red-Horse consistently brings unique access, community-based insight and a depth of creative experience to any production. Perhaps best known for her award-winning True Whispers: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers, a PBS nationally broadcast documentary produced with Gale Anne Hurd of Valhalla Motion Pictures, Red-Horse is currently in pre-production as director/producer for the feature film Standing Bear, depicting the first American Indian Human Rights Trial in the United States. Red-Horse’s collaborations have included projects funded by or working with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the Navajo Nation, the Powhatan Renape Nation, the Chumash Band of Mission Indians, the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay, the Choctaw Nation and the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.
Gale Anne Hurd, Producer/Writer
Over the course of her career, Gale Anne Hurd has produced more than two-dozen feature films that have generated billions of dollars in revenue, and earned Oscar nominations and scores of awards. She has further distinguished herself by championing paradigm-shifting technological innovations, carving out a pre-eminent position within the previously all-male ranks of epicscaled film production. As the chairman of her own production entity, Valhalla Motion Pictures, Hurd continually develops a broad range of projects, highlights include: The Incredible Hulk, Armageddon, The Ghost and the Darkness, the Terminator Trilogy, The Abyss, Aliens and the Sundance Audience Award-winning drama—The Waterdance. Hurd is currently the Executive Producer of the upcoming AMC series, The Walking Dead, based on the best-selling graphic novels by Robert Kirkman, and written and directed by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption).
Distributed by: VisionMaker Video, a service of NAPT
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Educational Version Available September 23, 2010; retail price $225.00
Home Version Available October 23, 2010; retail price $29.95