Mark D. Williams
June 26, 1977
Mark D. Williams is an award-winning Choctaw filmmaker from Shawnee, Oklahoma. Having never been to film school, Mark was self-taught using friends and family for his first few projects. His first short film premiered at the Red Fork Film Festival in Tulsa in 2006. He would go on to write and direct more short films until 2012 when he made his first feature length film, “The Unrest” (winner of the BEST FILM award at the Mvskoke Film Festival).
In 2016, his second feature film, “Violet”, won 12 awards in the US and overseas with 29 award nominations overall. In 2016, he began focusing on Native American sport and athletes’s stories with his first documentary titled “Beans” (Best Documentary at the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase). It was followed by another award-winning boxing documentary titled, “Shiloh” which can be found on Amazon Prime. He followed up Shiloh with another boxing film, “Knifechief”. In 2020, his short film, “Warrior Coach”, won 2 awards (Bare Bones International Film Festival and Best Director at LA Skins Fest).
Mark’s first feature length sports documentary, “Tvshka Nowvt Aya”, covered Oklahoma Choctaw stickball and won Best Film in 2018 at the NatiVisions Film Festival in Arizona. His second documentary with the Choctaw Nation, “Ikhaiyana la chi” (I Will Remember) won three awards (NatiVisions Film Festival, LA Skins Fest, Will Rogers International Film Festival).
Mark’s latest film, “The Journey of Tiak Hikiya Ohoyo”, a sports documentary about Mississippi Choctaw Stickball was released in August 2022 in Film Festivals having won Best Feature Documentary (Fort Smith International Film Festival) and Best Feature Film (Indigenous Film Festival). He is currently writing his next script and researching more cultural projects to give the Native people an authentic voice.
Photo Credits: Wasey Lamar and Delaney Pennock