“King Otto,” an acclaimed documentary film about the miracle triumph of the Greek national soccer team at the 2004 Euro Cup, will premiere in North American theaters and on all digital platforms on March 25, 2022, to coincide with Greek Independence Day.
Directed by award-winning filmmaker Christopher André Marks, “King Otto” arrives in the U.S. on the wings of widespread critical acclaim and theatrical success worldwide.
The film tells the improbable story of one the biggest underdog triumphs in sports history. Simultaneously, it is an intimate and inspirational human story about an outsider daring to change his life and shake up the establishment at any cost.
In summer 2004, the Greek national team had never won a game or even scored a goal in a major tournament. But the team defied 300-1 odds to become the unlikeliest of European champions.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Zinedine Zidane’s France and David Beckham’s England were left stunned as an unfancied country, featuring players no one had ever heard of, single-handedly took down the titans of the world’s game.
The architect behind this unprecedented victory was legendary German coach “King” Otto Rehhagel. After accomplishing every major success in his own country, he left it all behind to work with the underachieving Greek team in a language he didn’t speak — and in a country he couldn’t understand.
Andre Marks’ film is the story of how these two contrasting cultures came together to speak the same language and write a new chapter of Greek mythology.
In what is being billed as the European “Ted Lasso,” the film is set to take its place in the pantheon of inspiring sports dramas alongside “Miracle,” “Hoosiers” and “Cool Runnings.”
“We have been overwhelmed by the incredible reception this film has received as we have released worldwide and at a time we need such uplifting tales of unity and hope,” André Marks said. “We are excited to share what is truly one of the greatest underdog sports achievements of all time with North American audiences.”
Andrew Pulver of the The Guardian called the film “thoughtful and erudite” claiming the film’s climax moment to be “one of the most uplifting things I have ever seen.”
David Stratton of The Australian writes: “Full marks to director Christopher André Marks for telling this real life feel good story, so well and so entertainingly…a compelling drama.”
Greg Baum of The Sydney Morning Herald says it is “Technically a documentary but comes across as an Aesopian Fable” while the BBC called it “a beautiful, beautiful film.”
“The Athenians must have partied hard after they defeated the Persians in the battle of Marathon in 490 BC – but not like this… it’s irresistible,” John McDonald wrote in the Australian Financial Review.
“It is emotional stuff, and it will be as enshrined like its lead player in the annals of Greek history,” Julian Wood of FilmInk said.
“The importance of soccer to sports fans around the world cannot be overstated, and Christopher’s remarkable and uniting film arrives at a historical moment in Greece’s 200 year history,” MPI Media Group Executive VP Hamza Ali said. “We are thrilled to bring this highly anticipated film to North American audiences.”
André Marks’ works have screened in cinemas and on digital platforms such as ESPN, SKY, Canal+, Al Jazeera and Discovery+.
The filmmaker’s previous documentary work includes directing and producing the SXSW documentary “Tiger Hood” for ESPN Films’ Emmy Award- Winning “30 for 30” series and working with HBO Sports on their Emmy and Peabody Award winning “24 / 7” series.
Marks previously worked with HBO Documentaries, ESPN Films and HBO Sports. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts film program.
For more information about “King Otto,” including where to watch in theaters and online, visit the film’s official website.
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