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Venus and Serena  2012

Directed and Produced by Maiken Baird and Michelle Major
Music by Wyclef Jean
Edited by Sam Pollard
Distributed by Magnolia Pictures, Netflix and Showtime

World Premiere  Toronto International Film Festival 2012

Venus and Serena Williams are two of the greatest tennis players of all time—and sisters. They have also been lightning rods in a lily white sport known for its primness. Venus and Serena is an unfiltered portrait of the two fierce competitors in the year it almost all came crashing down. Venus, contending with a punishing autoimmune disease, and Serena, in recovery from a dangerous pulmonary embolism, were confronted by their tennis mortality for the first time. The directors were offered unprecedented and exclusive access into the previously private lives of the two women. The film offers thoughtful conversation with the family, friends, and admirers (including Bill Clinton and Chris Rock) who have witnessed their fascinating story from the front row.

“An engaging, warts-and-all look at the Williams sisters...of interest to more than just sports fans.”

“Any tennis fan interested in a straight-up account of what makes these fiercely talented players tick — and how they’ve felt, and continue to feel, about their reception by and place in the professional tennis community — will find much to enjoy in ‘Venus and Serena.’”
New York Post

“Baird and Major’s film combines rare news footage and home movies with much arresting new material: interviews with the sisters, their family, and high-profile fans; clips from their 2011 matches; and footage of them training, recovering from illnesses, and goofily singing karaoke (a Serena obsession)... [Serena] and Venus are never denied their complexity or humanity.”
Village Voice
“The filmmakers remain admirably unbiased, a rarity in biographical documentaries. They neither worship nor vilify their subject, but allow her to define herself on her own unapologetically complex terms.”
New York Daily News

“A fascinating story...and [Baird and Major] tell it well.”
The Wrap

Venus and Serena is a film that should be in every home, church and school library. It’s an impressive, landmark film that sings a powerful song.”
The New York Amsterdam News