News Column

Hominy Indians football docu-drama poised for twin debut Saturday

June 13, 2014

By Mike Erwin, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Okla.

June 13--Debut showings are scheduled Saturday on movie screens in Bartlesville and Pawhuska for a documentary film about the 1920s Hominy Indians football team.

"Playground of the Native Son" will be shown in Bartlesville as part of the Native Film Festival sponsored by Oklahoma Indian Summer 2014. The festival will be at Theater Bartlesville, 312 S. Dewey, and the Hominy Indians' movie is expected to start around 2 p.m. as the second presentation.

This is the first year for the film festival, which is held in conjunction with OK Mozart. The downtown event opens at 11 a.m. with a showing of "The Dead Can't Dance." The comedy/drama "zombie" feature by Wichita, Kan., filmmaker Rod Pocowatchit will follow a Dewey Street Zombie Walk event that begins at 10:30 a.m.

Following the Hominy Indians' movie, "Cherokee Word for Water" is set to be shown at 4 p.m. The event is due to conclude at around 8 p.m. An all-access pass for the festival costs $20, or there is a $10 charge per film.

"Playground of the Native Son" is slated as a 3 p.m. feature Saturday at Pawhuska'sConstantine Theatre, 110 W. Main. The independently-produced football docu-drama will have two additional showings at the historic downtown location on the following two Saturdays (June 21 and 28) also with 3 p.m. start times.

Tickets (at $8 for adults/$5 for children) are to be available at the Constantine Theatre box office on the day of all three "Playground" screenings. On June 21, there also will be a 7 p.m. showing of "August: Osage County," the R-rated 2013 production -- much of which was filmed in and around Pawhuska and Bartlesville.

Following this week's debut showing of the football documentary, the Constantine will host a reception for Celia Xavier, the film's California-based executive producer.

Xavier and her company, Fully Funded Films/Indie N Productions, initiated the "Playground..." project in late 2012. A considerable amount of its filming took place in the Bartlesville area and Osage County, using actors from Oklahoma and nearby. Xavier also has been working with actor Adam Beach to promote a feature film idea based on the Hominy Indians story.

"Playground of the Native Son" tells of the glorious decade-long achievements of the Hominy Indians, a semi-professional 1920's football team composed of all-Native American players

In addition to compiling win streaks of 20 and 28 games, the Indians were known to have defeated several professional opponents.

In a storied contest played in Pawhuska on Dec. 26, 1927, the Hominy squad defeated the New York Giants, the reigning champions of the pro league that would become the NFL. That signature victory provides one of the focal points of the movie.

Initially constructed as a hotel, the Constantine Theatre building was later converted into an opera house. The Constantine was going strong when that storied Hominy Indians-N.Y. Giants football game was played. In addition to its normal function as a movie theater, the Constantine was the site for Osage Nation tribal functions and oil lease auctions.


(c)2014 the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise (Bartlesville, Okla.)

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Source: Examiner-Enterprise (Bartlesville, OK)

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