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Warner Bros Entertainment To Film Documentary Series On German Women’s Soccer Team

The German Football Association (DFB) in partnership with Warner Bros Entertainment are producing a six-part documentary series around their national soccer team with the aim of “turning the light on” the women’s game. Each episode will be an hour long and focus on the Nationalelf (National Eleven) and its players.

Due to be released in 2022 or 2023, the filmmakers will follow the team, twice Women’s World Cup champions, eight-time European Champions and Olympic Gold Medalists in 2016, until at least the end of the finals of next summer’s Women’s Euros in England, with a decision on where the series will end to be made based on the team’s progress at the championships.

Although the producers claim the series will be a “world-first”, in terms of charting the fortunes of an international women’s team, similar recent fly-on-the-wall documentaries have been released on women’s club sides. In 2018, Curious Films shot a hugely successful ten-part series, Britain’s Youngest Football Boss, centering around the West Ham United Women’s team which eventually aired on the nation’s flagship channel BBC One and returned for a second six-part series, Squad Goals, the following season. In Spain, Exile Content and Newtral teamed up to film a four-part series, Un Sueño Real, on Real Madrid Women’s team which was broadcast on HBO España.

The film crew first visited the team in February 2021 to build up a trust with the players before they began shooting during the next international break in April. Warner Bros insist “there’s no script, no rehearsals and no fake stories – the main point of the series is to tell the authentic story of the protagonists”.

National team goalkeeper Merle Frohms believes “It’s a brilliant project. We were super-excited when we found out what the team had planned. We all have our own stories, and it came together right from the start as we immediately felt part of the film crew”.


Series director and producer Martina Hänsel promises that the show will not merely focus on the disparities between men’s and women’s soccer but aim to be more “self-confident”. “Our theme is more than just football. It will not simply show sporting developments but also the everyday life of the players and their dual career as internationals as well as club players. The lives of the protagonists will be shown in an authentic way”.

The players will be filmed with the national team, but scenes will also be shot with their club sides and in private surroundings such as the players’ recent visit to the Volkswagen factory in Dresden. The 26-year-old Frohms admitted at having to overcome some initial reservations about being on camera. “I was a bit skeptical at first, when Martina came to me and asked if we could film something involving my movement and dance rhythms, but I accepted the challenge and it also became clear that there was no pressure. Everything was really relaxed”.

“It was agreed from the start, however, that no one should be forced into anything. There was no-one who said they didn’t want any part of it. There was also no-one who was worried that something internal would get out or be portrayed in the wrong way. There are a few players who don’t shy away from the camera, like Laura Freigang or Sara Doorsoun. It will be really interesting to see who becomes more open as filming takes place and then plays a bigger role on screen”.

Despite the plan to follow the team into a major championship next summer, Frohms does not believe the presence of the production team increases the expectation on the team to create headlines on the pitch. “It’s nice that a film crew is here accompanying us but it was also said from the beginning that it was not meant to cause added pressure or that we had to bring home the trophy to increase sales. The series should be about the team rather than the European Championships – regardless of what happens at the Euros”.

Hänsel feels the premise of following one of the world’s leading national teams on a year-long journey is a sufficient attraction to market the show to an audience with an increasing appetite to find out about the lives of female soccer players. “This team and these players have a great deal of stories to tell. There will be a lot of marketing for the show – its goal in this respect is to have as much publicity as possible”.

German women’s head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg admitted that “we have seen the first trailer (for the series) and had tears in our eyes. We are happy about this great project”.

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