Two Sides, a critically acclaimed three-part behind-the-scenes documentary series on the historic 2021 British & Irish Lions tour has been nominated for an International Emmy.
A co-production between South African production company T+W and Wales-based Whisper Cymru, the series ‘Two Sides’ has been shortlisted for Best Sports Documentary against just three other international nominations. The documentary was commissioned by, and made in conjunction with, the British & Irish Lions and the South Africa Rugby Union.
It’s the first time Whisper or T+W have been nominated for an International Emmy.
The documentary series ‘Two Sides’ explores what transpired in the Springbok and Lions camps during the 2021 Tour of South Africa. Stepping away from the traditional Lions doc format, ‘Two Sides’ tells the story of both the Lions and Springboks during the first Tour to South Africa since 2009. The documentary features fly-on-the-wall footage of both camps as they took part in a fascinating series of games which was successfully completed against the hugely challenging backdrop of a global pandemic.
In May 2022, Two Sides was broadcast across M-Net and SuperSport in South Africa, followed by ITV, UK and Virgin One, Ireland in June. The series attracted much social media interest and media attention, reviews included:
“Quite simply the best documentary I have ever seen about rugby and indeed all sport... A masterpiece of documentary making" Martin Hannan, The Herald
“Emotion, levity and turmoil, the latest Lions documentary is compelling viewing… a breath of fresh air” Ben Coles, The Telegraph
The British & Irish Lions, The South Africa Rugby Union and Super Sport funded and supported the series.
Ben Calveley, British & Irish Lions CEO: “This documentary shows how both sides rose to the unprecedented challenge of hosting a major sporting event during a global pandemic.”
Rian Oberholzer, South African Rugby Union CEO: “Rugby fans will find this documentary fascinating and entertaining in equal measure, with the added twist this time of getting a fly-on-the-wall view of both camps involved in this unique tour. Two Sides will act as a wonderful archive for rugby fans to look back upon for decades to come.”
Rendani Ramovha, SuperSport CEO: “As a broadcaster, we constantly strive to tell the greatest stories in Africa, and from a sporting front there’s no exceptions. Two Sides showcases two world-class teams and gave us the opportunity to take viewers behind the scenes of a Lions tour that took place during the most difficult time for sport in recent memory. The nomination is testament to the hard work, planning, and execution from the production teams from both continents.”
Carys Owens, Whisper Cymru Managing Director: “Filmed amid a backdrop of civil unrest and Covid, this was a challenging lock-down project for the entire production crew, but one that we absolutely lived and breathed during its execution. It is always such a privilege to be allowed access into the inner sanctum of team sports, but the biggest thanks goes to the players and coaches that trust us to tell their stories."
“To be nominated for an Emmy is such a huge achievement. I am really proud of the whole team – to be nominated alone feels like a win in itself!”
Sunil Patel, Whisper co-founder and CEO: “To be nominated for an Emmy, the same year we won a BAFTA in another genre, blows my mind! There are so many great features about this Series. We had two women-led in-camp teams that travelled within the Covid bubble, plus out of camp team who uncovered the perspective of the players’ families watching from their homes. We had teams working in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa, utilising the latest cloud technology to collaborate. It’s an incredible example of amazing teamwork and a great partnership between us and T+W.”
Gareth Whittaker, T&W CEO: “An Emmy nomination is not something that comes around very often, much like the possibility of filming a once-in-a-lifetime tour. We pride ourselves on telling great stories, and the Springboks’ rivalry with the British and Irish Lions will always provide a brilliant first draft. Add the layer of COVID-19, empty stadiums, and a tour in jeopardy on top of that, and our work was cut out to ensure that no page was left unturned. Two Sides ranks as one of our greatest achievements, and the Emmy nomination is something we’ll not only treasure but hope to convert into a win!”