Fan leader

The Vegalta Sendai Core Supporters party their way round the football stadiums of Japan to the sound of Twisted Sister, The Ramones and The Clash.

It was their determination and courage in the wake of the 2011 tsunami however, that bought them to the attention of football fans around the globe.

VEGALTA tells how the club and their legendary fans set out together on the long road to ‘regain a hometown’ – and in the process, laid down a challenge for Japanese football’s biggest prize.

On March 5th, 2011, newly promoted Vegalta Sendai prepared for the new J1 league campaign – their focus very much on survival. Six days later, that word took on a distinctly different meaning, as a massive earthquake shook the Pacific and sent a 10 metre high tsunami toward the coast at the speed of a jet airliner. In Sendai, at the epicentre of the earthquake, the waves reached up to 10km inland.

Six weeks later as the Vegalta players stepped on to the pitch in the season opener, the fans unfurled a banner, which defiantly read ‘We do not lose again until we regain a hometown’. Inspired, Vegalta set out on a rollercoaster journey to glory that would capture the hearts of the entire country.

We retrace this remarkable story through the eyes of the Supporter Squad and with interviews with the key members of the 2011 squad as well as leading football experts such as Gary Lineker and Sean Carroll.

With original music by Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack and tracks from Twisted Sister, GodspeedYou! Black Emperor and Japanese band Stance Punks this is a dramatic, human and occasionally blackly funny story of how the people of Sendai struggled together to build a lasting legacy out of the debris of March 11th.


VEGALTA was produced by Ben Timlett of Bill & Ben Productions. In addition to documentaries such as ‘Never Mind the Sex Pistols’, ‘Rebel Truce: The History of the Clash’ and ‘Who Killed Nancy’, Bill and Ben were Emmy nominated in 2010 for directing and producing ‘Monty Python: Almost The Truth – The Lawyers Cut’.

Bill and Ben also directed and produced ‘A Liar’s Autobiography – The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman’, a feature-length 3D animated movie by, about and starring Graham Chapman of Monty Python.

Co-Producer is Grant Cummings of Cling Film, an award winning independent production company specialising in film, television and web content, including productions for Red Bull Tv, Sky and Channel 4.

The film will be released by SUNDANCE CHANNEL GLOBAL, by AMC in the UK and NHK in Japan throughout late 2016. Further release details will appear soon.

Contact ben@billandben.net for further information.