Pulse Films and Oscar winner James Marsh have begun production on a new ambitious four-part series “Welcome to Berlin.”
The doc is billed as post-pandemic chronicle of the iconic city seen through the lens of football with an all access film about the city’s football club, Hertha.
Merging two genres, Welcome to Berlin (wt) is an all access account of Berlin’s historic football club, Hertha BSC, throughout the upcoming the 2020-21 Bundesliga season; combined with a comprehensive chronicle across three centuries of the city that has come to represent change and transformation for the world.
“We’re making a document for posterity” said Executive Producer James Marsh, who directed the blockbuster Theory of Everything and won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary for Man on Wire. “These are the most turbulent times humanity has encountered in generations so it’s a privilege to capture this new reality within the city that has experienced more change than any other in the last three centuries. I am also a big football fan and the window that Hertha Berlin BSC offers to tell the story of their upcoming next season, and to connect it to the times we live in, and their own history since their founding in 1892 is exciting.”
A Pulse Films production, the series will be directed by Lee Hicken who created Amazon’s six-part docuseries Take Us Home: Leeds United narrated by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe. Executive Producers will include Marsh, Marisa Clifford and Thomas Benski of Pulse Films, who recently produced the UK’s smash hit Gangs of London for Sky and critically acclaimed, Primetime Emmy nominated Beastie Boys Story for Apple TV and Esteban Apraez who is also the series creator.
“Berlin is and always has been, one of the most exciting cities on earth and Hertha Berlin BSC is one of the most interesting football projects in Europe right now. We have the right elements here to create something very special and something unique in the documentary landscape. It’s an honour to be directing the series and to work alongside James and Pulse Films in the coming months” said Lee Hicken who this year also directed two new original series for Sky Sports.
Executive Producer Marisa Clifford, Pulse Films added: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with James Marsh and Lee Hicken on such a poignant project as Welcome to Berlin. The scope of this project speaks to the core of our studio’s mission, to tell stories that create moments of culture and resonate with audiences worldwide.”
The drama follows a tumultuous season that saw the team rise from relative obscurity when the enigmatic and charismatic world financier Lars Windhorst invested a quarter of a billion dollars into the club – making it the biggest investment ever in German football. “New” coach Bruno Labbadia is the 4th head coach of the season in what has been a roller-coaster start to a new era for Hertha, but this has not deterred the club management, who are set on bringing glory to Berlin and build a European football powerhouse.
Paul Keuter, Member of the Management Board of Hertha BSC added “We are excited to collaborate with such an accomplished creative team on this ambitious project, giving fans and audiences around the world a unique view of our club and our city”
Series Creator and Executive Producer Esteban Apraez concluded by saying “Because of the time we live in and the subject matter we’re tackling I believe Welcome to Berlin has all the elements to become an era defining contemporary cultural tale. Of the Western world, of Germany, of modern football, brought into context through hundreds of hours of archival footage and research that links our past to our present in the hope of transforming our future.”
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