U.K. and German sales and finance banner K5 International has boarded Maiken Baird and Michelle Major’s controversial documentary Venus and Serena.
Baird and Major’s film follows the emergence and rise of tennis’ most formidable and successful siblings, Venus and Serena Williams.
Billed as offering a rare opportunity to leap the often media-controlled environment of the living sports legends, Venus and Williams offers unprecedented access to their lives, both in the spotlight and behind closed doors.
The movie world-premiered in Toronto with the sisters lined up to attend. But at the last minute, they pulled out, withdrawing support for the film amid rumors that they disagreed with the way in which their father was portrayed in it.
It explores how the sisters draw their greatest strength from one another and overcome adversity, including life- and career-threatening health problems, personal tragedy and media controversy.
Directed by Baird and Major, the film is exec produced by Oscar winner filmmaker Alex Gibney.
The movie's music is by Grammy award-winning musician Wyclef Jean.
Daniel Baur negotiated the deal for K5 International and John Sloss for Cinetic.
K5 International is handling international sales for the film. Cinetic is handling North American sales.
"We first sat down with K5 at the Doha Film Festival and were taken by their enthusiasm for each of the films they had chosen to represent,” said directors Baird and Major. "It is clear that K5’s high standards require remarkable stories and subjects along with original and outstanding storytelling. It is clear that when they choose a film, it is more than just a title to sell, it is a film for which they have a passion to share with audiences worldwide."
Said K5 co-founders Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur: "There are sports documentaries and then there are stories of such bravery and the ability to overcome adversity that make this film almost unbelievable. These girls are world champions for a number of very good reasons!"