Venus and Serena Williams’ Father Richard Retraces His Family’s Journey in Sheffield Doc ‘On the Line’: Watch Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

Fremantle has unveiled a trailer for documentary feature “On the Line: The Richard Williams Story,” which will have its U.K. premiere at Sheffield DocFest.

In the film, which premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Festival, the father of Venus Williams and Serena Williams retraces his family’s meteoric journey in his own words. Featuring never-before-seen archive material and new, in-depth, intimate interviews, the film tells the story of one man’s fight against racism, suppression and violence to raise two of the greatest tennis champions in history.

Richard Williams takes the audience from his childhood in poverty-stricken Shreveport, Louisiana, where he was raised by his cotton-picking mother, to the tennis courts of Compton. As the film charts the Williams’ ascent to the tennis world stage, Richard provides insights into family life and also shines a light on unconscious bias and repression of Black people.

Stuart McClave, director and producer of the film, said: “Sitting down with Mr. Williams over the course of several years and listening to his story — many aspects of which I thought I knew going into this project as an avid tennis player and fan — only made me realize how much of this story hadn’t been told before or been allowed to be told. While the media and tennis establishment eventually came to celebrate the sisters, they still have not given Mr. Williams the respect and credit he deserves. I would like to thank him personally and everyone else who shared their incredible insights on the power of this story — a story I firmly believe is one of the most inspirational, unbelievable and crucial American stories of all time.”

The film is produced by ChaVam’s Chavoita LeSane, High Frequency Entertainment’s Duncan Montgomery and Jack Selby, Foundation 360’s Gary Ousdahl, and Stuart McClave’s McClave Lumber Company. Executive Producers include Brenda Robinson, Brit Marling, Ashley Coleman, Charlie McDowell, Alex Orlovsky, Mathilde Jourdan, Harry Gamsu, and Bright West Entertainment’s Alex Lieberman and Gary Lieberman. Fremantle is handling global distribution. The deal was negotiated by Travis Tammero of UTA and Holly Stanton and Joe Cohen of CAA.

“On the Line: The Richard Williams Story” will screen at Sheffield Docfest on June 17.

Watch the trailer here:

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