TVB Europe 84 September 2021

Page 40


Jenny Priestley talks to Anouk Mertens, executive producer of new documentary series The Giants

Konishiki talks to the NEO Studios film crew


EO Studios, the studio behind Amazon’s Take Me Home: Leeds United, has turned its attention to Sumo wrestling for a new three-part documentary series, The Giants. The series, which debuted on Rakuten TV in 43 European markets at the end of July, follows the untold story of Hawaii’s legendary sumo wrestlers: Konishiki, Musashimaru, Takamiyama and Akebono, who travelled to Japan as outsiders and became icons of the country’s national sport.


The series came about after NEO’s founder Andrea Radrizzani came across the wrestlers’ story and suggested it to executive producer Anouk Mertens as an interesting idea. She admits to knowing nothing about Sumo at the beginning of the project: “I think that’s the same for most people, it’s a very mysterious and closed world. But we started to dig in and actually discovered the background story and how four Hawaiian outsiders changed the face of the sport in Japan, and that was quite an interesting story.