It was a star-studded event Wednesday night in Syracuse. The red carpet was rolled out in front of the Crouse-Hinds Theatre for the world debut of Crooked Arrows.
The film is one of the first to focus on lacrosse, the fastest growing sport in the U.S. It also shines a spotlight on Native American culture, a community that started the sport and has been playing lacrosse for centuries.
The movie features some big name Hollywood actors, like Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) and Gil Birmingham (Twilight). "It's your classic underdog sports movie," said Routh at the premiere.
Casting directors said when they first started with this movie, they needed to decide whether to find actors and them to play lacrosse or find lacrosse players and teach them how to act. They decided to go with the second option and that's where the Onondaga Nation came in. The movie casts a number of Onondaga Nation teenagers who have been playing the sport for years. In the movie, many of them played characters that resembled themselves. Movie officials say it was important to cast Native American players so the movie was authentic. The nation also got on board with the film, helping to back it financially.
Wednesdat night, the red carpet was rolled out on Montgomery Street and limos drove stars up to the venue, where fans and cameras waited for them. "This is crazy!," said Tyler Hill, a local athlete who was casted in the movie. "I haven't seen the movie yet. I'm really excited to see everyone's reaction."
Officials say the movie debuted to a sold out crowd. Tickets ranged from $10 to more than $100.
It was a story that needed to be told," said Kakaionstha Betty Deer who played Grandma Skye. "This is the creator's game and we still use it in the long house."
The movie will be released to select regional theatres on May 18th and expand nationwide to more theaters in New York and LA on June 1st. To watch the trailer, click here.