Documentary film chronicles the ground-breaking efforts of Venus Williams in the fair pay struggle in the world of women’s tennis
ESPN Films and espnW will premiere the documentary Venus Vs., directed by Ava DuVernay, as the first film in the upcoming Nine for IX series. Venus Vs. highlights Venus Williams’ work that changed the course of women’s tennis. In a stunning case that drew increasing attention and debate, Williams challenged the long-held practice of paying women tennis players less money than their male counterparts at Wimbledon.
With a deep sense of obligation to the legacy of Billie Jean King, Williams lobbied British Parliament, UNESCO and Fleet Street for financial parity. The boys clubs at Roland Garros and Wimbledon finally relented in 2007 and during that same year Venus became the first women’s champion at Wimbledon to earn as much as the men’s champion, Roger Federer.
Winner of the “Best Director Award” at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere, Ava DuVernay is a writer, producer, director and distributor of independent film based in Los Angeles.
The Nine for IX series on ESPN will air Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET as follows:
July 2: Venus Vs.
July 9: Pat XO
July 16: Let Them Wear Towels
July 23: No Limits
July 30: Swoopes
August 6: The Diplomat
August 13: Runner
August 20: The ‘99ers
August 27: Branded
All Nine for IX films will be available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon the day following air. A collectible DVD gift set with all films will also be available on October 15, 2013.
Follow the Nine for IX series on twitter at @30for30 and @espnW. Fans can join the conversion with the hashtag #VenusVs
About Nine for IX
ESPN Films and espnW present Nine for IX, executive produced by Robin Roberts and Jane Rosenthal, featuring nine documentary films about women in sports directed by Oscar-nominated, Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning female filmmakers. Inspired by the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the series will air over nine consecutive Tuesdays on ESPN at 8 PM ET beginning July 2, 2013. Stories include Venus Williams fight for equal pay at Wimbledon, the largely unknown history of Katarina Witt and her link with East Germany’s secret police, an intimate look at Pat Summitt—college sports’ most successful coach ever, and the business of sex in the marketing of female athletes.