Amber Midthunder and Dark Winds stars Jessica Matten and Kiowa Gordon are featured in the cast of new Netflix film.
Get ready to cheer the Chuska Warriors, a high school basketball team from the Navajo Nation, in Rez Ball, a new Netflix film now shooting in New Mexico. Inspired by Michael Powell’s critically acclaimed nonfiction book Canyon Dreams, the drama was co-written by Reservation Dogs veterans Sydney Freeland (who’s also directing) and Sterlin Harjo, and lists none other than NBA great LeBron James as a producer.
The ensemble cast includes a number of notable Native acting talents, including Jessica Matten and Kiowa Gordon of Dark Winds, Amber Midthunder (Prey), Julia Jones (The Mandalorian), Dallas Goldtooth (Reservation Dogs), Cody Lightning (Four Sheets to the Wind) and Ernest Tsosie (Drunktown’s Finest), alongside newcomers Kauchani H. Bratt, Devin Sampson Craig, River Rayne Thomas, Jojo Jackson, Avery Hale, Hunter Redhorse Arthur, Henry Wilson Jr., Jaren K. Robledo, Damian Castellane, Kusem Goodwind and Zoey Reyes.
According to Netflix, Rez Ball is “an all-American underdog story about Native American kids and coaches told from the inside out.” The premise: “After losing their star player, the Warriors must band together if they want to keep their championship dreams alive.”
“I am beyond excited to be working with Netflix, Wise Entertainment, and The SpringHill Company to bring this story to life,” Sydney Freeland said in a statement to Deadline. “Basketball on the Rez is like high school football in West Texas. It has a fanatical following that few sports can rival. I’m also excited to be working with Sterlin Harjo on this. He has brought so much insight, humor, and heart to this story.
“This is a story that’s commonplace on Indian reservations all over the US, but most people aren’t even aware it exists. What we want to do is bring people into our world, to tell a story about the people and places we know, and what better way to do that than through a sports movie?
“We want to tell a story that is authentic to the place and people told from the inside out. We are so excited with the team we’ve assembled and can’t wait to bring this to the screen.”