Vice Media-owned Pulse Films has begun production on Lee Hicken’s Welcome to Berlin, a post-pandemic chronicle of the iconic city and its historic football club.
The tentatively titled four-part docuseries will serve as a comprehensive chronicle of the city’s history through three centuries via archival footage, while also offering unprecedented access into Berlin’s storied Hertha BSC football club throughout the forthcoming 2020-21 Bundesliga season.
Welcome to Berlin will follow the team on and off the pitch following a “tumultuous season” before Lars Windhorst, a German entrepreneur and co-founder of the Sapinda Group, invested nearly US$500 million into the club — making it the biggest investment ever in German football.
Under Windhorst’s watch, the club is determined to bring glory back to Berlin and “build a European football powerhouse” through Bruno Labbadia, the fourth head coach of the season, as well as high-profile signings, including Olympique Lyonnais midfielder Lucas Tousart who was signed for €25 million in January.
Hertha Berlin BSC was founded in 1892 and was a founding member of the German Football Association.
Welcome to Berlin is directed by Hicken (Take Us Home: Leeds United) and executive produced by Pulse Films’ James Marsh (pictured), Marisa Clifford and Thomas Benski. Esteban Apraez, who is the series creator, also serves as exec producer.
“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,” said executive producer Marsh (Man on Wire) in a statement. “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.”
“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,” added director Hicken. “We have the right elements here to create something very special and something unique in the documentary landscape.”
“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,” noted Apraez. “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.”