- Magnolia Pictures

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Magnolia Pictures in association with M+M Films
Present
A MAGNOLIA PICTURES RELEASE
VENUS AND
SERENA
A film by Maiken Baird & Michelle Major
Specs: 99 min
OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2012 Toronto International Film Festival
2013 Miami International Film Festival
2012 DOC NYC
2012 Tribeca Film Festival
2012 Bermuda Docs Film Festival
Distributor Contact:
Matt Cowal
Arianne Ayers
Magnolia Pictures
(212) 924-6701 phone
publicity@magpictures.com
Press Contact NY/Nat’l:
Donna Daniels
Donna Daniels PR
77 Park Ave., 12th Fl.
New York, NY 10016
(347) 254-7054 phone
dd@ddanielspr.net
Press Contact LA/Nat’l:
Marina Bailey
Marina Bailey Film PR
6569 De Longpre Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 650-3627 phone
marina@marinabailey.com
49 west 27th street
7th floor
new york, ny 10001
tel 212 924 6701
fax 212 924 6742
www.magpictures.com
SYNOPSIS
Venus and Serena takes an unfiltered look into the remarkable lives of the greatest sisteract professional tennis has ever seen. In a sport where they were not welcomed, the
indomitable Williams sisters faced the opposition with grace and courage not only
breaking new ground for female and African American athletes everywhere, but
dominating the women’s game for over a decade. The film tells the inspiring story of how
these two women, against all odds, but with the help of visionary parents, made it to the
top.
Venus and Serena also explores the struggle of these two aging superstars during the
2011 tennis season as they battle life and career-threatening health problems. In Venus
and Serena we gain unprecedented access into the sisters’ lives - both in the spotlight and
behind closed doors – and we watch as they draw their greatest strengths from one
another to overcome countless adversities.
Magnolia Pictures will release Venus and Serena …
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DIRECTORS’ STATEMENT – MAIKEN BAIRD AND
MICHELLE MAJOR
The amazing story of the Williams sisters needed to be told as it is a shining example of
what the human spirit can achieve with belief, hard work and blind determination. Ever
since Venus and Serena burst onto the scene - as two rising tennis stars in the early 90s the world has been captivated by them. What was it about these two African-American
sisters and their incredible bond that made them so special? The story of how they were
able to rise above their humble beginnings to confidently take on an exclusive sport
which had no place for two black girls from the ghetto, has meaning for anyone who's
ever dreamed of beating the odds. Their journey is an education and inspiration for us all.
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ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Michelle Major (Director/ Producer)
Michelle Major has worked in television and film for more than 15 years. Michelle got
her start on the Barbara Walters film verité documentary Men Are From Mars, Women
Are From Venus: But We Have to Live on Earth. Later, she became a member of the
producing team for Peter Jennings critically acclaimed and groundbreaking documentary
project The Century. She was also one of the original producers to bring the ABC News
show Lifetime Live to the Lifetime channel. Additionally, she contributed to ABCs World
News Weekend, finding her niche producing features about race, religion and the urban
experience.
In 2003 Michelle began working with Diane Sawyer producing celebrity interviews as
well as stories on hot-button issues across the nation and oversees. At ABCs Good
Morning America, she was part of an award winning team and was personally responsible
for producing several shows dealing with national topics ranging from the 2008
Presidential election to Hurricane Katrina. She also produced top profiles on
international leaders and their nations such as; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran), Felipe
Calderon (Mexico), Hamid Karzai (Afghanistan), Bashar al-Assad (Syria) and President
Obama.
Michelle has a BA in Psychology and Film Studies from Columbia University. She also
holds a Masters in General Psychology from The New School for Social Research. She
is a proud native of Harlem, NY and currently lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn.
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MAIKEN BAIRD (Director/ Producer)
Maiken Baird is an independent documentary filmmaker who specializes in international
and political affairs. She produced Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, with
Academy Award winning director and producer Alex Gibney. In 2011, Client 9 was
nominated for best documentary feature by the Producers and the Directors Guild of
America and was also nominated for three Emmy Awards.
Maiken co-produced Chicago 10, a documentary feature on the Chicago Seven and the
1968 Democratic National Convention. Chicago 10 was directed by Brett Morgan and
produced by Graydon Carter.
Maiken began her documentary career at ABC News as a researcher for Peter Jennings
News Specials. She went on to produce documentaries for New York Times Television
and National Geographic on a wide range of topics including: Women of the Holy
Kingdom on the lives of women in Saudi Arabia, Nuclear Nightmare: Understanding
North Korea, TB: Time Bomb on Russia's tuberculosis epidemic and The Smallpox Curse
on the eradication of small pox. She produced A&Es Biography of the Millennium, on the
100 most influential people of the last one thousand years and associate produced
Biographies of Joseph Stalin and Eva Peron. She segment produced MTVs True Life:
Fatal Dose, on heroin abuse by affluent teens in Plano, Texas.
Prior to becoming a documentary filmmaker Maiken worked at the United Nations in
New York, the European Union in Brussels and the Royal Institute of International
Affairs in London. She obtained a Master’s degree in International Relations and Political
Science from Stanford University in 1992 and a BA in Political Science from Columbia
University in 1989. Maiken is trilingual in English, French and Danish and lives in
London with her husband and three children.
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CREDITS
M+M FILMS PRESENTS
A FILM BY MAIKEN BAIRD
VENUS and SERENA
PRODUCED BY MAIKEN BAIRD AND MICHELLE MAJOR
EDITED BY SAM POLLARD
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER ALEX GIBNEY
MUSIC BY WYCLEF JEAN
DIRECTED BY MAIKEN BAIRD AND MICHELLE MAJOR
Directors of Photography
Cliff Charles
Rashidi Harper
Stephanie Johnes
Associate Producer
Aimée deSimone
Associate Editor
Alex Keipper
Special Thanks
Elizabeth and Jim Wiatt
Distribution Advisory Services
Cinetic Media
Additional Directors of Photography
Henry Adebonojo
Maryse Alberti
Jeff Burson
Chris Dapkins
Kerwin Detracy Devonish
AJ Fielder
Wolfgang Held
Ronan Killeen
Stephen Kazmierski
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Salvador Bolivar Madera
Will Miller
Slane Roman
Directors of Photography - UK
Mark Carey
James Clenaghan
Director of Photography - Australia
Brent Crockett
Sound Mixers
David Hocs
Andre Logan
Eric Moorman
Caleb Mose
Paul Reed
Mark Roy
Sound Mixer - Australia
Bart Bee
Additional Sound
John Hatcher
Juan Nunez
Mike Primmer
Jim Rebraca
Daniel Brooks
Assistant Camera
Daniel Carter
Steve Ciffone
Daniel Fernandez
Megan Frazer
Brett Frey
Chris Frierson
Alvah Holmes
Jason Mason
William O'Marra
Trashon Shallowhorn
Keith Sikora
Carla Sosa
Tim Trotman
Rene Vargas
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Assistant Camera - UK
Chris Dodds
Assistant Camera - Australia
Cara Hurley
Production Assistants
Erica Bernal
Nick Bodkin
Steve Brewster
Brian Fernandez
Kevin Kearns
Jon Lee
Charles Phillips
Marco Vidalis
Archival Researcher
Sheila Maniar
Rights & Clearances
Roberta Helling
Main Titles & Design by
Bigstar
Post Production Consultant
Kelley Cribben
Music Director
Sedeck Jean
Music Editor
Sally Swisher
Music Coordinator
John McCullough
Online Facility
Post Factory NY
Digital Colorist
Mishel Hassidim
Color Correction Facility
Post Factory NY
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Supervising Sound Editor
Allan Zaleski
Dialogue Editor
Branka Mrkic-Tana
Transfer Assistant
Chris Fielder
Audio Post-Production Facilities
C5 Editorial
Re-Recording Mixer
Tom Fleischman, C.A.S.
Recordist
Bret Johnson
Re-Recorded at
Soundtrack F/T
Production Photographers
Brian Butnick
Production Accountant
Mara Connolly
Production Insurance
AON/Albert G. Ruben Company of NY Inc.
Production Counsel
Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein and Seltz, PC
E&O Counsel
Hiscox Insurance Company Inc.
Copyright Holder
VSW Productions, LLC
Transcription
Richard Dworkin
Interns
Joseph Burden
Nino Chichua
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Dylan Dempsey
Nicolas Donnolli
Cindy Gamboa
Ryan Kupchik
Maria Lanzilotti
Julian Mercuri
Greg Ryan
Athena Zammit
Very Special Thanks to
Tim Luke
Euan and Angelica Baird
Nikos and Grace Makris
Sade Baderinwa
Gretchen Beidl and Michael Wilner
Special Thanks to
Peter Bodo
Bill Clinton
Carlos Fleming
Leland Hardy
Billie Jean King
Rick Macci
John McEnroe
Arnon Milchan
Isha Price
Lyndrea Price
Oracene Price
Arnold Rampersad
Dave Rineberg
Jill Smoller
Gay Talese
Jon Wertheim
Anna Wintour
Venus and Serena Williams
Archival Footage Provided Courtesy of
Associated Press
Audio Clips Courtesy of Tennis Channel © The Tennis Channel, Inc.
CNN
The Conus Archive
ESPN Enterprises, Inc
HBO Archives
IMG Sport Video Archive
institut national de l'audiovisuel
10
Tennis. Internationaux de France : Roland Garros. Simple finale dames
Director, Boulain, Françoise ; Director, Godard, Fred ; Director, Machu, Jean
Louis ; Director, Gervais, Pascal ; Director, Père Champagne, Renée ; Director,
Leroux, Jean Pierre ; Journalist, Monfort, Nelson ; Presenter, Luyat, Laurent ;
Presenter, Golovin, Tatiana ; Narrator, Chamoulaud, Lionel ; Narrator, Brabant,
François ; Narrator, Boetsch, Arnaud ; Narrator, Dominguez, Patrice ; Narrator,
Pitkowski, Sarah ; Narrator, Monfort, Nelson ; Narrator, Lauclair, Daniel ;
Narrator, Romera, Arnaud ; Narrator, Mauresmo, Amélie ; Narrator, Simon,
Gilles (Tennis player, consultant) ; Narrator, Coffin, Richard
Tennis. Internationaux de France : Roland Garros . Demi finale dames
Director, Godard, Fred ; Journalist, Chamoulaud, Lionel ; Journalist, Monfort,
Nelson ; Participant, Henin, Justine ; Participant, Monfort, Nelson ; Illustrator,
Chenez, Bernard ; Narrator, Chamoulaud, Lionel ; Narrator, Forget, Guy ;
Narrator, Tauziat, Nathalie
Finale dames à roland Garros. Victoire Serena Williams.
Director, Boulain, Françoise ; Director, Godard, Fred ; Journalist, Holtz, Gérard ;
Journalist, Drhey, Michel ; Journalist, Monfort, Nelson ; Journalist, Perez,
Valérie ; Participant, Perez, Valérie ; Participant, Monfort, Nelson ; Participant,
Delon, Anthony ; Participant, Williams, Venus ; Participant, Williams, Serena ;
Participant, Killy, Jean Claude ; Participant, Baffie, Laurent ; Participant, Russo,
Daniel ; Presenter, Holtz, Gérard ; Narrator, Drhey, Michel ; Narrator, Loth, Jean
Paul ; Narrator, Leconte, Henri
Tennis. Internationaux de France : Roland Garros . Finale dames
Director, Boulain, Françoise ; Director, Godard, Fred ; Narrator, Drhey, Michel ;
Narrator, Loth, Jean Paul ; Participant, Monfort, Nelson ; Participant, Williams,
Serena ; Participant, Williams, Venus
Tennis. Internationaux de France : Roland Garros. Interview des soeurs Williams
Journalist, Monfort, Nelson ; Participant, Monfort, Nelson ; Participant, Williams,
Venus ; Participant, Williams, Serena
ITN Source
NBC Sports
NBC Universal Archives
Oddball Films
Seven Network
T3 Media
Archival Photographs Provided Courtesy of
ABC.es
The Asahi Shimubun Photoarchives
Associated Press
BEI Images
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Corbis
Der Spiegel
Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Gamma-Rapho
Getty Images
The Image Works
Koto Bolofo
Landov Media
People Magazine
Photograph of Venus and Serena Williams and Serena in Swimsuit © By Annie
Leibovitz (Contact Press Images) Originally Photographed for Vogue
Poster From 'FIGHT CLUB' Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation,
Monarchy Enterprises S.a.r.l. and Regency Entertainment (USA), Inc. All rights reserved
Splash News & Picture Agency
Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated/Getty
Stills of Pretty Woman and Fight Club Posters Provided by The Everett Collection
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Regency Enterprises
Williams Family Photo Library
Music
““STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON”
WRITTEN BY O’SHEA JACKSON, LORENZO PATTERSON, ERIC WRIGHT AND
ANDRE YOUNG
PERFORMED BY N.W.A.
COURTESY OF PRIORITY RECORDS LLC
UNDER LICENSE FROM EMI FILM & TELEVISION MUSIC
“I’M READY”
WRITTEN BY DEREK LAMONT COLEMAN, JERRY DUPLESSIS, NEL WYCLEF
JEAN AND CLARENCE ANTHONY LEGGETT
PERFORMED BY WYCLEF JEAN
COURTESY OF COLUMBIA RECORDS
BY ARRANGEMENT WITH SONY MUSIC LICENSING
“HOLE HEARTED”
WORDS AND MUSIC BY NUNO BETTENCOURT AND GARY F. CHERONE
COURTESY OF STINGRAY MUSIC
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