Sony Pictures Television International kicks off at MIPCOM Monday with a major programming coup -- a winning bid for worldwide distribution rights to "The Grand Finale," the only officially sanctioned film about the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Directed by Michael Apted, and narrated by Pierce Brosnan, the film features never before seen footage of the World Cup. SPTI bid against other U.S. studios and numerous international entities for the rights, confirmed SPTI executive vp distribution Keith LeGoy. "If you are any major network and you aired the World Cup then this is the perfect crescendo and if you did not have the World Cup then this is the perfect way to get a piece of that action," LeGoy added in an interview. (Steve Brennan) FULL STORY -
CANNES On the eve of the main Mipcom market action, several key U.S. companies unveiled deals that they expect to trumpet throughout the week on the Riviera.
Sony will kick off today with its World Cup movie "The Grand Finale," which is likely to sell easily in soccer-mad territories. Docu feature was shot at the recent tourney in Germany by director Michael Apted. Pierce Brosnan narrates.
Sony beat out several other contenders for worldwide rights to the pic produced by British-based ECN.
Keith LeGoy, exec VP at Sony Pictures TV Distribution, told Daily Variety he expected to close deals in major territories "by Monday afternoon, given just how crazy for soccer the rest of the world is."
LeGoy said he thought there also would be deals with a Stateside English-language outlet, such as ESPN, and with one of the two Hispanic broadcasters in the U.S.
There are several other soccer tournament films available at Mipcom, but "The Grand Finale" is the only one with the official sanction of FIFA, which provided behind-the-scenes access.
I wonder if they'll change the narrator for non English speaking markets or just use subtitles.
Sony Pictures Television International Launches The Grand Finale at MIPCOM, the Official Film of the 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM)
Monday October 9, 5:58 pm ET
* A high quality HD feature film, narrated by Pierce Brosnan and offering a cinematic overview of the 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM)
* The Grand Finale is the only film about the 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM) officially sanctioned by FIFA
CANNES, France, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) gets MIPCOM 2006 off to a lively start with the announcement that it has secured the worldwide* distribution rights to The Grand Finale, the only officially sanctioned film about the 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM). Containing never before seen footage of the excitement and drama of the 2006 Tournament, The Grand Finale is directed by acclaimed director, Michael Apted, and narrated by Pierce Brosnan. The Grand Finale provides a film-style overview of the Tournament's most captivating moments. The announcement was made today by Keith LeGoy, Executive Vice President, Distribution, SPTI.
ADVERTISEMENT Commenting on the deal, LeGoy said: "The 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM) was a spectacular event viewed by an audience of 30 billion people around the planet. The Grand Finale captures cinematic footage of the tournament that has never before been seen, footage that truly depicts the character, stamina and strength of the world's best players, the excitement of the games and the passionate support of the fans. The cinematic quality of The Grand Finale along with the huge appeal of football among an ever widening worldwide audience makes this an incredible property for general and sports broadcasters alike."
Also commenting, Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, said: "We are pleased that a Hollywood studio of Sony Pictures' global relevance has acquired the distribution rights for the Official 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM) Film. Through their expertise and market relevance around the world, millions of football aficionados will gain access to a unique and exclusive film production that allows the viewer to feel part of the action and the excitement of the FIFA World Cup(TM). I am sure that the film will rapidly become a collector's item because of its convincing and creative approach to some of the best the FIFA World Cup(TM) Final had to offer".
The Grand Finale not only portrays the excitement of the matches played in the World Cup but also uniquely captures the emotions, excitement and tension from the initial knockout stages through to the Final. This is football as it has never been seen before. The close-up, intimate style filming of The Grand Finale provides a compelling look at the highs and lows of the players and fans as they face the triumphs and adversities of the most beautiful game. Moreover, the film uniquely goes further than just highlighting the best moments of the tournament -- it provides an inside perspective on the feelings of the players, their coaches, the fans and the officials.
Michael Apted is best known for directing the award-winning Up! series of documentaries, and his feature film credits include Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorky Park, Gorillas in the Mist, Class Action, Nell and the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. The Grand Finale is produced by ECN Motion Pictures and runs approximately 100 minutes.
* Worldwide (excluding Japan)
About Sony Pictures Television International
Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) is the division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) responsible for all television business outside of the United States. SPTI operates three complementary lines of business: 1) distribution of SPE's feature films and television programming to television, mobile and digital content delivery outlets around the world, 2) local television production in key international markets, and 3) international television networks. In addition to being a leader in the distribution of current and classic U.S. and international films and television product worldwide, SPTI produces high profile, locally produced television in local languages. With dedicated offices in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Miami (Latin America), the People's Republic of China, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom, SPTI currently oversees production in nine regions of the world and is the leader in international television production among all major Hollywood studios. SPTI's worldwide television networks portfolio is a key strategy in the SPE's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with over 40 networks in more than 100 countries reaching over 240 million viewers worldwide. SPTI is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
Yay, that's really great. I love Football and I think PB too, having grown up in London, he should be. I don't know how accurate this is, but I remembered reading somewhere that he is a fan of Tottenham Hotspurs FC in the English Premier League. That's too bad, cause I support Manchester United... ;D
Title: The FIFA 2006 World Cup Film (IMDb) Starring: N/A (Documentary) Released: 23rd January 2007 SRP: $24.96
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced The FIFA 2006 World Cup Film: The Grand Finale - an official Fifa sanctioned documentary narrated by Pierce Brosnan. The documentary provides an overview of all the tournament's action and drama including never-before-seen footage shot on proprietary 35mm cameras during the Quarter finals up through the Final itself . The film also includes behind-the-scenes, off-the-field footage of the teams and the fans. The film itself will be presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen - along with an English Stereo soundtrack. The only extra material will be seven interviews.
I received mine yesterday. I've not seen the whole thing yet but I managed to skip through the DVD. While I enjoy the football, Pierce doesn't really talk much. He was rather quiet. But maybe we're suppose to watch footie ;D But when you do hear him speak, well...what can I say, it was very sweet and perfectly naratted. I just can't get enough of it....LOL
The best just to listen to him --- hmm probaby The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World . It's not as visually stunning as say Dolphins (very good). Deep Blue (haven't seen but supposedly has very sparse narration) or the recent Cousteau (very good also and his narration is most prevalent in the Sharks/Whales episode) ones but it's a facinating subject and he talks thoughout the entirety and says really sultry words like Mesopatamia .
The only problem is the DVD version only has the 1 hour version of the TV special and it was about 1:45 minutes on TV. There's another hour of extras on the DVD but he's not narrating. I think DeepDiscountDVD sells it at it's cheapest price (about $10)
It is very well done and interesting so you should enjoy it.
As a runner up for narrative purposes I'd recommend Dolphins-- it's beautiful to look at (it was made for IMAX), well made (it was nominated for an Oscar), and Pierce's narration is only sporadically "interrupted" with information and observations from scientists . It also has a fun soundtrack by String -- and it's about dolphins which are just great to watch.
It's a more cheerful at times rather playful narration from Pierce -- he has a great line about Dolphins mating "blink .. and you've missed it."
Capturing the excitement and passion of a FIFA World Cup on film or video is always a tricky proposition. But with the use of never-before-seen camera angles and innovative techniques, "The Grand Finale" - the official film of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany - has edged the worlds of artistic expression and football a bit closer together.
Directed by acclaimed film-maker Michael Apted and narrated by one-time 007 Pierce Brosnan, the film captures the speed, and pulse-pounding action of the world's biggest sporting event in 35mm glory. Read on to hear what producers Peter and Stevie Hargitay had to say in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com.
FIFA.com: Around Christmas time there is always a flurry of new sports films and documentaries released. What makes this one so special?
Peter & Stevie Hargitay: Well, to begin with it is the official film of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. But that is where any similarity with previous World Cup films ends. For the first time the official film was directed by one of the world's leading documentary directors, Michael Apted. Also, the film shows the beautiful game from angles and perspectives that we've never seen before. And as the entire programme was shot with 35mm cameras, the quality and photography is exceptional. And Pierce Brosnan - who is a fan who knows his football - narrates the entire documentary sparingly to allow the viewer to enjoy the action.
How helpful was FIFA in the making of the film? Without FIFA's very direct contribution and involvement, the film could never have been shot. Footage that was never before possible, such as locker-room scenes before the final or pitch access for the cameras were possible because of the special access granted throughout. We enjoyed a great relationship with the Communications and Competitions departments and FIFA Marketing also helped with obtaining rights and footage for the very first segment, which offers an overview of the group stages.
With hundreds of camera angles to choose from and hours of audio available, what was the principle concept of the film's direction? Primarily we wanted to focus on the final, which led us to the title: "The Grand Finale". It was our intent to show the beauty of the game in close-ups: the faces of the players before and after the penalty kicks were struck in the shootout and to depict the very human and exciting sides of the game of football. The semi-finals and quarter-finals were the next priority. But, in truth, the main focus was always going to be the final and - also a first - much of the surrounding fan action, celebration and distress.
What further adds to the film is the exclusive bonus features with in-depth interviews with the likes of final referee Horacio Elizondo, players like Michael Ballack, Didier Drogba, Fabio Cannavaro. And clearly, some of the excitement also derives from Shakira's pre-match performance and the wealth of non-match footage.
What part of the film to you think will most capture the public's imagination? That would have to be the final. Apted (director) managed to let the viewer become part of the game. At times one feels the intensity as if he or she was actually out on the pitch kicking the ball. The entire presentation of the final is a truly unique experience.
In your eyes, what was the most dramatic moment of Germany 2006 - and how have you conveyed that moment on film? In terms of drama, one would obviously have to think of the moment in the final when (Zinedine) Zidane lost it for a moment and resorted to the now-famous head-butt. Naturally, in terms of drama, we have that shot. But I believe that we have shown it tastefully - and we captured the tremendous scenes when he slowly walks off the pitch, past the World Cup trophy, down the stairs and into the locker-room and wipes a tear off his face. That is the footage that is most moving and shows the drama and intensity of the moment.
As for drama on the pitch, there is a vast amount of exciting and enticing footage that captures moments we have all forgotten or never realised before: the Italian goal against Australia, the umpteen yellow cards handed out by Graham Poll and the red cards by Russian referee Valentin Ivanov in the Portugal v Netherlands match. All of this becomes understandable because it is reflected by the passion, the excitement and the speed of the game as it happens.
What has the feedback from the viewers been like so far? Nothing short of incredible. The 35mm camera footage was called the "best football footage ever seen on film" by numerous critics. If the critical acclaim should match the sales, we all - including FIFA who use the proceeds for humanitarian work - will be more than happy.