July 15, 2018; Moscow, Russia; France players including Olivier Giroud (9) and Kylian Mbappe (10) celebrate with the trophy after defeating Croatia in the final of the FIFA World Cup 2018 at Luzhniki Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

When producers document the behind-the-scenes of a team, they hope to strike gold. That’s exactly what’s happened for Amazon and French channel TF1. A new documentary that followed the French national soccer team in its journey leading up to and throughout the FIFA World Cup will premiere this week in France. The documentary’s title, which translates to Les Bleus, the Heart of a Russian Epic will air on TF1 in a two-hour version this week and then be available on Amazon Prime Video in France in four 30-minute installments.

It’s expected to be available to the rest of the world in October.

The filmmakers embedded themselves with the French team in the runup to the FIFA World Cup. Federation Entertainment is well-known tbroughout France for its scripted and kids programing, but is moving into documentaries with Les Bleus being its first project.

According to Variety, the producers of the film basically lived and breathed soccer for two months:

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.

This is all part of Amazon’s sports strategy in obtaining live and reality programs to stand out from Netflix and the other streaming services. Amazon has an upcoming documentary series on Manchester City from the English Premier League, has purchased a package of live EPL matches in the UK, owns the streaming rights to Thursday Night Football here in the US, and is looking for more programming.

U.S. fans who want to relive France’s run to the FIFA World Cup final will have to wait until October to see the new documentary, unless you travel to France over the next couple of months.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.