Rakuten TV will exclusively premiere the extended version of Eighteam, the award-winning documentary chronicling the Zambian National Football Team’s 18-year road to recovery, and their perseverance following the catastrophic loss of team members in a plane crash, to win the African Cup of Nations in 2012. Eighteam will be available exclusively on Rakuten TV’s free ‘Rakuten Stories’ channel on 29th October 2020 across 42 countries.
The inspirational documentary tells the story of the Zambian national football team, nicknamed Chipolopolo – the “copper bullets” in Bemba language – who were struck by tragedy in 1993 when 18 members of the team were killed in a plane crash on their way to the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Senegal. Bound by loss, Chipolopolo’s surviving captain Kalusha Bwalya, the remaining team and their country, came together to face difficult odds to rebuild a winning team, culminating in an emotional triumph at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. In a symbolic twist of fate, the victory took place 18-years later, in the same country where the crash took place, and secured after a historic 18 penalty game.
Directed by Juan Rodríguez-Briso and co-produced by Atlantia Media, the 70-minute film features testimonials from the players, iconic footballers and people that knew the team, as they recount their memories, including the former captain of the Zambian national team Chris Katongo, former national coach of Zambia Herve Renard, former president of the Football Association of Zambia Kalusha Bwalya and players Ciro Ferrara, Mauro Tassotti, Sandro Mazzola, and more.
Michael Nyman, the internationally famous composer and pianist, also participates in this documentary by bringing an emotional original soundtrack.
Eighteam has won numerous festival awards including: Best Documentary Award African Film Festival (Nigeria); Best Documentary Award Silicon Valley Film Festival (United States); Best Documentary Award International Movie Awards (Indonesia); Best Documentary Award Minuto 90 Film Festival (Peru); and was also selected for Cannes Cinephile section.
Eighteam is a documentary that showcases, given the odds, and despite the numerous amounts of times that they were told no, that you should never give up on yourself, your team and your dreams as anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself and you have the courage to act.
Rakuten TV, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary, will launch Eighteam on the ‘Rakuten Stories’ channel within Rakuten TV’s FREE section, making the inspirational documentary available to view without cost in the 42 countries in which the platform is operative. The documentary is the latest addition to enrich the platforms’ catalogue of exclusive, original and free content, which aims to inspire, educate and entertain. Recent releases, which are part of the Rakuten Stories collection, include Matchday – Inside FC Barcelona, The Secrets of La Roja – World Champions 2010, MessiCirque, Inside Kilian Jornet, Made in Senegal about Sadio Mané, Andrés Iniesta – The Unexpected Hero, Anything is Possible, which follows NBA superstar Serge Ibaka basketball, and the recently launched documentary Ride your Dream.