THE FANS, a new documentary by Mike Rodgers, launches on Rakuten TV.

In the summer of 2019, two of the world’s top football teams — FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC — visited Japan to join Vissel Kobe in the inaugural Rakuten Cup, a historic mini-tournament organised by Rakuten. While the matches served mainly as an exhibition for fans, to avid supporters of the three clubs the opportunity to see their favourite teams face-off against each other in Japan was a dream come true.

Directed by Mike Rodgers with a local Japanese documentary crew, THE FANS is an emotional piece of storytelling delving into the cultural peculiarities of Japanese football fans and their obsession with the beautiful game. The film also gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the anticipation building up to the games, featuring some of the clubs’ biggest players.

Mike’s eye for detail and visual storytelling stem from his background in Photojournalism. Working commercially in this field from his early teens, he is now an award winning film director experienced in working with and getting performances from the world’s biggest sporting talent.

In THE FANS , Mike brings creatives Oscar Cariss’ and Wai Lau’s idea to life through the array of personalities we follow during this 20-minute film.