London-based Pitch Productions’ latest documentary, “El Caso Figo” (“The Figo Affair”) has found a home at Netflix.
The film revolves around Luis Figo, one of Portugal’s all-time great soccer players, winner of the 2000 Ballon d’Or and 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year, and his contentious transfer in 2000 from Barcelona to bitter rivals Real Madrid at a record fee of €62 million ($63 million). Giving a heist film treatment to the transfer saga, the Spanish-language feature documentary reveals the story of how the deal came to pass, and tells a twisting tale of backroom deals, a historic sporting rivalry and a deep cultural divide.
The film is directed by duo David Tryhorn and Ben Nicholas, who directed Pitch’s Netflix documentary biopic “Pelé,” which launched last year. Pitch’s head of production, Marie-Denise Dormis, line produced the film. It was developed by Max Dobbyn, who also acted as consulting producer, after joining as head of development from Lightbox in 2020.
Tryhorn said: “After the success of ‘Pelé,’ Ben and I were delighted to partner with Netflix again on ‘El Caso Figo.’ It’s increasingly hard to find sports documentaries that are saying something new, that aren’t simply biographies or histories of sporting successes, so we believe ‘El Caso Figo’ is unique. Focusing on the transfer rather than Figo’s career, the film informs us about truth, greed, morality, and the inner workings of the world’s most popular sport.”
“We wanted the film to feel like a Hitchcockian thriller, one that plays with notions of the truth. We also only wanted to interview people with first-hand testimonies of the transfer so that the drama could play out in the present tense,” Tryhorn added. “We were delighted that all those involved in the deal were willing to participate in full. Everyone, from Florentino Peréz to Pep Guardiola, was generous with their time but Luís Figo was particularly accommodating, desperate as he was to finally set the record straight after two decades of avoiding the question of his transfer.”
With four more premium feature-length documentaries in production alongside a four-part series on soccer’s transfer window with NBCUniversal for Sky, Pitch are restructuring their senior team.
Tryhorn has been appointed creative director, reporting to COO Jonathan Rogers, and will oversee Pitch’s productions and creative strategy. He will be supported by Max Dobbyn, who has been promoted to head of documentaries but will continue to manage the development team.
For Amazon, Pitch have produced “Andy Murray: Resurfacing” and “All or Nothing: Brazil National Team.” For Netflix, in addition to “Pelé,” Pitch co-produced on the streamer’s Neymar series, “The Perfect Chaos.”
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