We today announce a series of international sales for the eagerly anticipated feature documentary On the Line: The Richard Williams Story. The film recently had its UK premiere at Sheffield DocFest and will now see a multi-territory rollout.
Set to launch on Sky (UK and Italy), CANAL+ (France), MNET (South Africa), Paramount+ (Australia) and TVNZ (New Zealand), the documentary paints a complex portrait of the extraordinary life, career, and lasting impact of Richard Williams — the family patriarch and “outspoken” tennis coach to Venus and Serena Williams.
Mr. Williams provides rare home video footage and candid interviews to detail the family’s unprecedented gate-crashing in the 1990s and beyond of a predominately white, upper-class sport. Newly discovered archival footage from the courts in Compton and a well-selected roster of interview subjects including Billie Jean King and Pam Shriver, retraces the Williams sisters’ meteoric ascent through the tennis rankings in spite of racial oppression and unconscious bias.
At its core, this isn’t just a story about tennis. It’s a story about the African American experience in America, resilience, courage, and the unabashed determination of one family to prove the sceptics wrong to accomplish what was deemed impossible — even if they had to break every rule or custom along the way to do it.
Jens Richter, CEO of Commercial & International, Fremantle, said: “We are delighted to team up with our esteemed broadcaster partners to share the remarkable story of Richard Williams, in his own words. Mr Williams granted Stuart McClave and his team unparalleled access and insight to allow them to create an unmissable documentary that will leave audiences across the globe feeling truly inspired.”
The film is directed by Stuart McClave, 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.