Brandon Routh Lacrosse Picture CROOKED ARROWS Sells To Strategic Film Partners at Cannes
Strategic Film Partners has acquired international sales rights to the feature film Crooked Arrows starring Brandon Routh (Superman Returns). The film, which depicts the story of an underdog American lacrosse team, was directed by Steve Rash (The Buddy Holly Story, Bring It On 3 & 4) and opens in limited engagements in the U.S. on May 18th, expanding with a wider national and Canadian release on June 1st. The timing of the release is significant as global interest in the sport is at an all time high due to the upcoming 2012 World Championships of the Federation of International Lacrosse in July in Finland.
Crooked Arrowsis the first mainstream lacrosse movie. It pays homage to the fast growing sport’s history by featuring a Native American high school team as the heroic underdogs, who rediscover their spirit when paired with a reluctant coach (Routh). Routh plays the mixed blood son of the nation’s chairman who has returned to his reservation to expand the community’s fledgling casino, but his traditionalist father and the tribal council insist that he must first re-examine his spirit before he can undertake his enterprise. Together with his skeptical team, he leads them on an unlikely journey to the New York prep league championship game.
In addition to Routh, the movie stars Gil Birmingham (Twilight), Crystal Allen, Chelsea Ricketts, Dennis Ambriz, and Tom Kemp. The lacrosse players are actual lacrosse players from around the country. The Native high school team was cast by Sports Studio’s Mark Ellis (Invincible, Miracle, Game Plan) in a visit to Syracuse last spring with all of the team’s players originating from the Six Nations Confederacy in upstate New York, with most being Onondaga, Tuscarora, or Mohawk.
The movie, which was shot in Massachusetts last August, has attracted substantial attention from the international lacrosse world, which is booming in several markets under the Federation of International Lacrosse. Leagues and teams from the UK, Spain, France, Germany Netherlands, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Japan and Australia have all made multiple inquiries about the film’s international plans.
“This is a fun family-oriented movie that should play very well overseas,” said Strategic Film Partners’ CEO Alex Barder. “It’s much more than a typical sports picture, with several positive messages about finding one’s family and spirit and a father and son reconnecting. I think people will laugh and cry and be thrilled by the action, whether they know lacrosse or not.”
From its first stages of development, the picture organically attracted widespread support in the both the lacrosse and Native American worlds. Sponsors include Reebok, US Lacrosse, and the Onondaga Nation, which also made a substantial investment in the $10M movie. The film has also gained endorsements from Inside Lacrosse Magazine, Major League Lacrosse, National Lacrosse League, and dozens of the sport’s top players, including Paul Rabil.
Producers J. Todd Harris (Bottle Shock, The Kids Are All Right) and Mitchell Peck (Priest) led the charge to put the production and P&A financing together, along with former All-American Jeff McCormick, a Boston-based venture capitalist who led his 1983 Syracuse lacrosse team to the NCAA championship. Over fifty investors, most of them lacrosse enthusiasts, participated in the film’s financing.
Branded Pictures Entertainment is releasing the film in conjunction with Freestyle Releasing and Pandemic Marketing. May 18th will see a release on 55 screens in 17 cities and June 1stshould see an expansion to over 400 screens in over 75 cities.
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