PBS Announces AMERICAN PHARAOH, Documentary About the Egyptian National Soccer Team and Its American Coach, Bob Bradley
– Program Scheduled to Air Prior to the World Cup in 2014 –
ARLINGTON, VA; SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 -- PBS today announced it will air the one-hour documentary AMERICAN PHARAOH, which goes behind the scenes with the Egyptian national soccer team — the “Pharaohs” — and its American coach, Bob Bradley. Scheduled to premiere in 2014, prior to the FIFA World Cup in June in Brazil, the film by Egyptian filmmaker Hossam Aboul-Magd follows the team’s efforts to qualify for soccer’s ultimate event for the first time in more than 20 years. In production for more than two years, with scenes still being shot, the film sets the soccer team’s challenge to succeed against the backdrop of the incredible turmoil in Egypt today.
“This is not just a film about soccer,” says Aboul-Magd. “This is about my country, my team, a coach I respect and the dream of capturing the World Cup in spite of enormous challenges. I see the goal of developing a strong team, in the middle of a revolution, as a metaphor for the rebuilding of Egypt.”
“When Hossam approached PBS with this idea, we were immediately on board,” says Bill Gardner, Senior Director, Programming, PBS. “This film not only tells a compelling story, but also provides a unique window into Egyptians’ ongoing struggle to define themselves during a time of national unrest. The journey of the Pharaohs on the road to the World Cup with the perspective of their American coach make this a truly unusual and intimate film.”
After a successful run as coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team, reaching the second round in the 2010 World Cup, Bradley signed on to coach the Egyptian team in September 2011. Faced with ongoing violence and political strife within the country, the team must remain united and work together to reach their ambitious goal.
“Making it to the World Cup will not solve the lack of education and poverty in Egypt, but it would be a great symbol for the country,” says Bradley.
AMERICAN PHARAOH follows Bradley — only the third American coach to manage a foreign team — his wife, Lindsay, his staff and his players. In gaining access to the training camps and providing in-depth coverage of the Pharaohs’ games in Africa, the filmmakers document the team’s personal and professional struggles to keep their eyes on the prize of getting to the World Cup while living in and representing a country in turmoil.
Producer: Soura Films, LLC
Director | Producer | Director of photography: Hossam Aboul-Magd
Executive producer: Charles C. Stuart
Producer | Writer: Sandy Petrykowski
Award-winning filmmaker Hossam Aboul-Magd, an avid Egyptian soccer fan born and raised in Cairo, has made films for PBS, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, History Channel, BBC, ABC, CNN, NHK and Al- Jazeera. Charles C. Stuart is the recipient of eight Emmys and various other national awards, including Peabody and duPont awards. He has produced more than 50 hours of programming for every major U.S. network, including HBO, ESPN, Discovery, PBS and A&E.
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