EXCLUSIVE: Ice Guardians, director Brett Harvey’s documentary about hockey’s violent enforcers, has been acquired by Upstream Flix and is set to hit theaters October 27. Written by Harvey and Scott Dodds, the film includes interviews with such NHL greats as Dave “The Hammer” Schultz, Clark Gillies and Dave Semenko.

It’s one of the first theatrical distribution plays for Upstream Flix, a new hybrid distributor/sales out that is partnering with the likes of AMC, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and others to give filmmakers more control and input over the release of their projects. Ice Guardians will screen at AMC Theaters in locations including Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Washington and Los Angeles.

Ice Guardians as an exploration of hockey’s tacit employment of brawling on-ice enforcers. The documentary “journeys into the lives of those who perform what is undoubtedly the toughest job within the National Hockey League today.” “Born out of self-policing a game where 200-pound men fly towards each other on metal blades with sticks, the role now finds itself facing the scrutiny of national newspapers, online blogs and TV newscasts,” says Upstream Flix. “Ice Guardians steps beyond the hype and heads directly to the source of the debate… the players themselves. Through their eyes, tough exteriors are shed to reveal the humanity behind a role that struggles to maintain its existence.”

Upstream Flix is specializing in content (often documentaries) with defined target audiences, with its plan to provide the services of a distributor in the North America market, while working with distributors internationally “to insure maximum exposure and minimum fees,” it says.

Check out the trailer above.