March 15, 2010

Lacrosse Feature Film Targets 2011 Release

by Chris R. Vaccaro | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Sports films have graced movie screens and televisions for years, but none have been about lacrosse. Things are about to change.

"Crooked Arrows" is the first feature film about the game. If you liked "Remember the Titans" or "Mighty Ducks," consider "Crooked Arrows" a must-see film. It's slated to hit theaters in 2011.

It’s a story about a young Native American man rediscovering his purpose in life by coaching a rag-tag reservation lacrosse team to the local prep championship. Backed by an all-star team of movie folks who boast 50 feature films to their credit, "Crooked Arrows" looks to be the next big hit of the sports movie world.

Wondering if the story will work? Don’t worry. All signs are pointing in the right direction. The movie’s Facebook fan page went from 300 to 3,000 fans in a matter of days, and people associated with the film are expecting hundreds of thousands to be interested very soon.

“They want to see the sport of lacrosse get to level where it deserves to be,” said L.A.-based lacrosse star Kyle Harrison, a former Tewaaraton Trophy winner and national champion at Johns Hopkins who has been entrenched in the sport's evolution in Hollywood. “By creating a mainstream lacrosse film, the visibility for the sport will only grow, which is clearly a good thing. In the lacrosse world, we're all very supportive of each other, and I know that once this film is made, the lacrosse world will come out in full force to support it.”

At a time when lacrosse participation is at an all-time high, when people attend the NCAA lacrosse championships by the thousands and when many business publications suggest the game is the fastest growing sport in America, there’s no wonder that a movie about the game with Native American ties will be captivating audiences soon.

J. Todd Harris, one of the film's producers, has produced 35 films in the last 15 years ,including "Bottle Shock" and "Jeepers Creepers." He senses the lacrosse world will rally behind "Crooked Arrows."

“It’s a wonderful story that people both inside and outside lacrosse are going to relate to,” he said. “I recognized lacrosse as a very tightly knit and booming niche."

Joining Harris on the crew is Sports Studio’s Mark Ellis, who has helped make many major sports film -- including "Miracle," "Coach Carter" and "Invincible" --  things of beauty, as well as director Steve Rash, whose resume ranges from "The Buddy Holly Story" to the "Bring It On" franchise.

Harris said more independently financed films are becoming market-oriented, which hasn’t been a problem so far for "Crooked Arrows," since the staff has Reebok and a slew of well-known lacrosse people endorsing the product, John Tavares and Paul Rabil among them. It’s also not hard to excite the lacrosse community, Harris said.

An intriguing part in the movie's development is a chance to invest. Independent investors are still sought. While utilizing the community that movie affects most, this could be a watershed moment for independent films.

With investment units ranging from $10,000 to $1 million, it’s a unique opportunity for a film that could easily sit on a shelf next to "Bend it Like Beckham," which grossed $33 million, or "Remember the Titans," which grossed $116 million.

Learn more at or join the fan page on Facebook and chat about the film with other lacrosse enthusiasts.

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