XLrator Media Acquires Native American Lacrosse Documentary ‘Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation’ (Exclusive)

The company will release the film in November 2016 to mark Native American Heritage Month

Last Updated: November 9, 2015 @ 4:08 PM

XLrator Media has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the inspirational feature documentary “Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation” for release on its Lifeframe documentary label in November 2016 to mark Native American Heritage Month.

The documentary follows The Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team on the road as they compete in the 2015 World Box Lacrosse Championships. For the first time ever, the Championship Games were held on an Indian Reservation, in Onondaga in upstate New York, the Capitol of the Iroquois Confederacy.

“Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation” was directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Peter Spirer and Peter Baxter (“Wild in the Streets”), produced by Spirer and Chris Brewster, and executive produced by Gayle Anne Kelley and Oren Lyons. The documentary was produced by One Bowl Productions in partnership with the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and with the support of Iroquois Nationals sponsor Nike and others.

“The game began with the Iroquois and we are proud of the role they play with Nike Lacrosse and in growing the sport itself,” Joe Taylor, Nike’s director of lacrosse, said.

“This is a truly moving and inspirational look at the spiritual journey the sport of lacrosse represents to the Iroquois people. Lacrosse originated with the Iroquois as more than sport but as profound medicine that is the lifeblood of their nation and central to their efforts to be recognized on the world stage,” said XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon.

The Iroquois Confederacy, known more traditionally as the Haudenosaunee, believe they were given the game of lacrosse as a gift from the Creator, and it is central to their heritage. Lacrosse was believed to be a “medicine game” that was played for healing and strengthening the mind, body and spirit of the players.

The Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team is the flagship of the Haudenosaunee. The team members travel on Iroquois passports, and carry their nation’s flag, colors and sticks into international competition against the best teams in the world.

In 2010, the U.K. declined to officially recognize the Haudenosaunee passport. In a mad diplomatic scramble, the U.S. State Department offered the team the option of using U.S. passports. The team respectfully declined, as acceptance of this offer would have nullified their rights to travel as Haudenosaunee.

The incident led to extensive media coverage about the Iroquois Nationals and the standoff around the world. In the end, the Haudenosaunee stood their ground and refused to back down, so they did not compete. The result was a proclamation to the world at large that the Iroquois are equal to all nations and nation states.

At the 2014 Championship Games in Denver, the underdog Iroquois Nationals competed with 40 countries and, for the first time ever, won a bronze medal. The film follows the team as they prepare and compete for the 2015 Championship Games in Onondaga, their home soil.