Sachem and lacrosse have grown synonymous over the years. So when it was announced that the first feature film about the game is coming out in 2011, Sachem North coach Jay Mauro was instantly interested.
If you liked Remember the Titans or Mighty Ducks then Crooked Arrows is a stone's throw from being in the same ballpark.
"I think it's a great idea to spread this game around the country so more people get to see first hand what it is about and the true tradition this game possesses," Mauro said.
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 folk, 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.
"It's funny how everybody says all these other sports like baseball and football are American past times," Mauro said, "but lacrosse is truly a part of American heritage. Hopefully what people also realize is lacrosse was, and I think still, is a great way to teach life lessons."
At a time when lacrosse is at an all time high, when people attended 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 producers of the film, who has produced 35 other films in the last 15 years including Bottle Shock and Jeepers Creepers, senses the lacrosse world will rally behind such a film.
"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 every major sports film in the last 20 years a thing of beauty (Miracle, Coach Carter, Invincible), as well as director Steve Rash, who is behind a number of films, with a fantastic range from The Buddy Holly Story to the Bring It On sequels.
Harris said more independently financed films are becoming increasingly marketing oriented, which hasn't been a problem so far for Crooked Arrows since the staff has Reebok on board (so it must be good!), as well as a slew of well-known lacrosse people endorsing the product – everyone from John Tavares to Paul Rabil. It's also not hard to excite the lacrosse community – if one person is interested they're all interested.
The intriguing part of the movie process is the chance to invest. For Long Islanders and Sachem residents, you still have the opportunity to sink your teeth into the movie business. 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 to have your name associated with a film that could easily sit on a shelf next to Bend it Like Beckham, which grossed $33 million, or the aforementioned Remember the Titans, which grossed $116 million.
For a movie with Native American undertones, focused on a game that put Sachem's athletic program on the map at a national level, Crooked Arrows is a perfect match for a community drenched with lacrosse spirit.