Ajyal Film Festival 2019

All Films

Venus and Serena (Venus and Serena)

Contemporary World Cinema

Maiken Baird, Michelle Major / Feature Documentary / United States of America / 2012 / 99 min / Colour and B&W / HDCAM
In English / Arabic subtitles
Interests: Documentary, Sports, Social Issues, Family, Women Interest
MENA Premiere
Rated: Parental guidance is advised for viewers under the age of 13. Individuals under the age of 13 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or older.


This intimate documentary uncovers the fascinating lives of Venus and Serena Williams, two of the greatest tennis players the world has ever known. Sisters, professional rivals, best friends, doubles partners; strong black women who rose to superstardom from the ghettos of Compton; between them, they have won more than 20 Grand Slam titles and eight Olympic gold medals. Filmmakers Maiken Baird and Michelle Major had unprecedented access to the sisters during the 2011 tennis season, when both women were suffering from illness and injury that threatened to end their careers. Their comeback – as much from sheer force of will as from medical care and training – is startling. The film studies the Williams sisters in their day-to-day existence, exposing some of their insecurities and the fierce attitude with which they conquer them. Perhaps Venus and Serena are best summed up by Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of ‘American Vogue’: ‘Attention has to be paid to them.’

Official Film Website

About the Directors

Maiken Baird (L) & Michelle Major (R)

A native New Yorker, Maiken Beard has produced a number of documentaries for both film and television, including ‘Women of the Holy Kingdom’ (2004) – about women’s rights in Saudi Arabia – and the Emmy-nominated ‘Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer’ (2010). ‘Venus and Serena’ marks her feature directorial debut.
Also born in New York City, Michelle Major worked as a TV and entertainment journalist, and as a producer on shows such as ‘Good Morning America’ and ABC’s ‘World Weekend News’. ‘Venus and Serena’ is also her directorial debut.


Maiken Baird, Michelle Major
Maiken Baird, Michelle Major
Sam Pollard
Executive Producer
Alex Gibney
Wyclef Jean
Cliff Charles, Stephanie Johnes, Rashidi Harper
Venus Williams, Serena Williams

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