×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Williams sisters no-show, still support doc

Tennis stars had been expected at Toronto preem

Just hours after it was reported that Venus and Serena Williams would not attend the world premiere of “Venus and Serena” because they were unhappy with the documentary about their lives, the tennis stars communicated to the filmmakers that they still support the project.

The Williams sisters were in fact absent from the Tuesday night Toronto Film Fest premiere, but co-director Michelle Major said they communicated via a member of their support team that they’re OK with how it turned out.

The year-long shoot wrapped December 2011, and the sisters had initially told Major and co-director Maiken Baird, both veteran broadcast journos, that they would attend the preem. But on Sunday and Monday, the filmmakers received word, via texts and emails from the support team, that neither sister would attend.

“We can’t speculate on the reasons they changed their minds,” said Major, adding that sisters did not watch the film until after the U.S. Open, where Serena Williams won her fourth U.S. Open singles title a few days ago.

“It may have something to do with the fact that they saw the final project too close to the festival,” Major said. “This is the first time anything like this has been done about them, so I think it’s a matter of processing. There’s a lot to take in” from what Major described as “an even-handed portrayal of their life.”

Pic follows the 2011 tennis season during which both sisters battled life and career-threathening health problems, personal tragedy and media controversy. Major and Baird, who gained unprecedented access to the sister’s private lives, filmed the sisters separately and together.

Cinetic is selling the film in Toronto.

More Film

  • Kiernan Shipka and Ross LynchMTV Movie

    MTV Movie & TV Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    Many of the biggest stars in movies and television — including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kiernan Shipka, Sandra Bullock, Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson — came together to present and receive honors at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi. And while non-attendees are able to enjoy [...]

  • Johnny BananasMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    'The Challenge' Veteran Crashes MTV Awards Acceptance Speech; Cut From Broadcast

    Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio pulled a Kanye West at Saturday’s taping of the MTV Movie & TV awards when “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” won over “The Challenge” in the Reality Royalty category. However, viewers didn’t get to see it. Producers of the show cut out Devenanzio’s speech from Monday’s airing, after the reality star took [...]

  • Zachary LeviMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    MTV Movie & TV Awards Winners: The Complete List

    The MTV Movie & TV Awards returned to television Monday, with host Zachary Levi and a number of pop culture favorites. Dominating this year’s nominations with four apiece were front runners “Avengers: Endgame,” which took home the evening’s best movie award, and “Game of Thrones,” which won best show. The Oscar-nominated documentary “RBG” also scored [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Jon Ham Richard Jewell

    Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm Join Clint Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm have joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s already star-studded drama “Richard Jewell.” Paul Walter Hauser is set to star as the titular Jewell in Warner Bros.’ pic alongside Sam Rockwell as Jewell’s attorney and Kathy Bates as Jewell’s mother. The drama is based on Marie Brenner’s article in Vanity Fair [...]

  • Where the Wind Blows

    Hong Kong's 'Where the Wind Blows' Sidesteps Protests For China Promo

    Hong Kong film director Philip Yung and his cast were in Shanghai on Monday to promote their upcoming film “Where the Wind Blows.” They revealed new details while cautiously sidestepping — for the most part — the awkward issue of last week’s massive civil protests in Hong Kong against a controversial bill that would have [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content