The coaches and players who went on to lift the World Cup trophy for France will be shown up-close in a new documentary project for Amazon and French channel TF1. Superstar soccer players such as Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba, plus their now-legendary coach, Didier Deschamps, were followed around by filmmakers who embedded themselves with the soon-to-be championship team as the squad prepared for the tournament.
“Les Bleus 2018, Au Coeur de l’Épopée Russe” (“Les Bleus, the Heart of a Russian Epic”) is the first project from a newly minted documentary division at Federation Entertainment. Already one of France’s best-known producers, the company has specialized in scripted and kids’ fare, but has now moved into high-end factual, with “Les Bleus” as its first project.
The two directors of “Les Bleus,” Emmanuel Le Ber and Théo Schuster, lived with the French football team for more than two months, following the players, coaches, and staff as they prepared at France’s national football center, Clairefontaine. The French Football Federation supported the producers, who said that the federation’s president, Noël Le Graet, and managing director, Florence Hardouin, played an essential part in getting it made.
The documentary is a coproduction between Federation Entertainment, Yvette Productions, and the French Football Federation.
A two-hour version of “Les Bleus” will air on France’s biggest commercial channel TF1 on Tuesday evening, two days after France defeated Croatia 4-2 and won the World Cup for the second time, sparking scenes of jubilation in Paris and throughout the country. France’s first win was 20 years ago, in 1998.
The documentary will be available on Amazon’s streaming service in France from Friday, in a four-part version consisting of half-hour installments, and then throughout the rest of the world from October. Brazil is an exception; it will land there on Amazon next January.
Amazon has been moving into sports and football programming as well as securing key live rights. It has an upcoming documentary series about English Premier League team Manchester City, and has also snagged a package of rights to Premier League matches for the first time.