e18hteam(documentary film about Zambia’s national football team) Press Release
In October 2014, e18hteam, a documentary film about Zambia’s national football team, the Chipolopolo, will be released as part of the 50th Independence celebrations marking the country’s freedom from British colonial rule. This production is a Spanish and Zambian co-production due to the collaboration of writer, director and producer Juan Rodriguez-Briso (Mr.) of Omnicorp Estudio and producer Ngosa Chungu (Ms.) of Purple Tembo Media.
This film tells the story of how the Chipolopolo (the Copper Bullets) managed to triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) that was co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in 2012 despite being the underdogs. Captain Christopher Katongo, FAZ President Kalushya Bwalya and Coach Herve Renard are among the narrators who explain this destined win. The documentary also explores how Zambia always had the potential to achieve at the highest level, which is why the 1993 tragedy in Gabon was such a blow to the nation’s spirit. For the Chipolopolo to then go on and win in the very place where so much was lost 18 years and 9 months before, makes for an inspirational story. Even more so because the world has followed the Zambian national team’s journey from tragedy to victory, and included in the film are foreigners who not only empathise, but also tell of similar experiences that mirror what happened to Zambia and the Chipolopolo. e18hteam also features the beloved, late Dennis Liwewe, Zambia’s legendary football commentator, who covered games locally, and internationally for media houses such as the BBC, since the 1960s. He illustrates how football is so much more than a game to the nation, and how it has helped define and unify Zambia as a people despite its ethnic diversity.
The documentary is called e18hteam due to the fact that 18 is a number that recurs throughout the story and it is about the Zambian national football team. 18 Chipolopolo died in 1993. 18 penalties were taken for Zambia to claim victory in 2012. 18 players died in a similar tragedy in Italy that is also explored in the film.
e18hteam preserves a seminal thread in Zambia’s 50 year history and a story that encapsulates what it means to be Zambian, communicating this through the universal languages of football and the movies. This documentary also is a testament to how Europe and Africa have found ways to heal the wounds caused by the friction of colonialism, through collaboration in the form of film and common ground through the power of the beautiful game.
The film is also a celebration of being Proudly Zambian. Musician Pompi has been accommodatingly magnanimous by enabling selection of songs from his entire music library. His music will feature in the official trailer coming out later in September and in the documentary as well.