EXCLUSIVE: 101 Studios (Yellowstone), Above the Line Productions (Official Secrets), Campfire Studios (WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn) and Pzaj (Camp Hideout) are teaming on a feature documentary about the corruption within global soccer organization FIFA.
The feature documentary will follow late journalist Andrew Jennings’ investigation into the misconduct and corruption of FIFA’s executive team and members. Jennings’ background in investigative journalism and knowledge of criminology led him to unravel the organization from within. When his research captured the attention of the FBI and U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch, they teamed to reveal further layers of crime which led to multiple arrests and ultimately, the resignation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Co-directed by Clay Tweel and Maura Anderson, the film will tell the story through the eyes of the investigative reporter who went head-to-head with the world’s most powerful sports organization.
The project was initially developed by Trish D Chetty following her investigations into FIFA corruption at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Meeting Jennings whilst at the Play the Game Conference in Denmark in 2013, she discovered they both had a common interest – to expose the wrongdoing within FIFA.
Producers are Ross Dinerstein of Campfire Studios; Ged Doherty (former chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK) and Chetty of Above the Line; David Glasser, businessman Ron Burkle and Bob Yari of 101 Studios; Phillip Glasser and Jason Brown of Pzaj; and Shannon Riggs.
“I’ve been a fan of soccer my whole life, but it wasn’t until I discovered Jennings’ investigative reporting that I was able to understand how the game has evolved into what we see today — a global obsession exploited by small men and large corporations,” Tweel said. “Maura and I are excited to put on full display the multitude of corrupt practices in FIFA and discover what they say about the revealing nature of personal power.”
Chetty added: “Andrew and I shared a desire to expose the corruption which is behind one of the largest sporting organizations on the planet, and I am honored to be part of continuing the work he did in speaking truth to power – showing both the extent and the ramifications of this corporate juggernaut’s corrupt dealings. There is a stellar team of talent behind this project which I know will do justice to both the magnitude and the intricacies of this story.”
Said Dinerstein: “As a massive sports fan – in terms of both the entertainment value and the incredible passion and integrity inherent in competition – I find the FIFA situation horrifying. The severity and scope of the organization’s crimes are pretty mind-blowing, and this doc will be a wild ride through a story that becomes more outlandish and sinister at every turn.”
“We are so fortunate to be able to work with our prestigious partners to bring this untold true story to audiences. What people will learn in this documentary will make them question everything they know about sports organizations across the globe,” added Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios.
101, which produces Taylor Sheridan’s hit series Yellowstone, manages the recently formed Sports Illustrated Studios. Upcoming projects include Paradise Found, based on the true story of high school football coach Rick Prinz, and a docuseries about the sexual abuse and cover-up at Ohio State University, co-produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures.
Campfire and Dinerstein’s notable projects include Hulu feature documentary WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn; FX’s Hysterical and The Most Dangerous Animal of All; and HBO Max’s The Way Down and Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults.
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