OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It’s a film six years in the making.
Director and producer Andrew Troy plans to tell the story of Chief Standing Bear, years after writing a screenplay, based on a book by UNL professor Joe Starita.
"Everybody in the Omaha area, knows this story, but when you go to the east coast, go to the west coast, we've never heard of this story,” says Troy.
Troy, who has a long career in Hollywood, was first inspired by the tale after Omaha native Warren Anzalone, came to him after reading that book, titled ‘I Am a Man.’
"There wasn't anything out there that was this powerful and I just thought that this would be something that needed to be told,” says Anzalone.
Eventually politicians got involved.
After Troy got word Congressman Jeff Fortenberry sponsored a bill that pursued a Chief Standing Bear national trail, he reached out. Fortenberry loved the movie idea.
"It's a story that all Americans need to hear and that Nebraskans can certainly be proud of,” says Fortenberry.
This announcement comes right after a statue of Chief Standing Bear was recently unveiled in D.C. Both Troy and Fortenberry hopes the movie, along with the statue, educates Americans on how back in 1879, Chief Standing Bear peacefully told a crowded courtroom that he is a man, winning the case, establishing legal rights for Native Americans.
"Instead of fighting, instead of picking up the tomahawk, or a rifle, he decided to find a means in court to find a peaceful resolution,” says Troy.
The movie is set to be filmed in Nebraska, specifically at Fort Omaha including at the Crook house, the home General George Crook, a key player in Chief Standing Bear’s story.
While the heavy lifting is done, a few final steps need to be made before filming can begin. Once the movie is out, everybody involved hopes Americans will realize Chief Standing Bear's place in American history.
"Chief Standing Bear never intended to be a civil rights leader, but that's what he became because this is about the universal desire of justice and appealing to all human hearts,” says Fortenberry.