Screening Room

MIPCOM Picks 2013: “The Battle of the Sexes”

The 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was played amid the hoopla and hype ordinarily reserved for heavyweight fights. But the stakes in the game were indeed high.
September 1, 2013

Partners: New Black Films, Media Squared Films. International sales by Goldcrest Films International; theatrical distribution partners include Kaleidoscope (UK), Madmen (Australia)

Length: 1 x 87 minutes, 1 x 52 minutes

Premiered: July 2013 (UK theatrical), September 2013 (PBS, U.S.)

Rights available: Contact Goldcrest Films International

The 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was played amid the hoopla and hype ordinarily reserved for heavyweight fights. But the stakes in the game were indeed high. King, then 29, was making her voice heard as part of the Original Nine, a group of female tennis players striving for equal pay and recognition for their championship performances. Riggs, meanwhile, was a 55-year-old proponent of the status quo, and a vocal, if chauvinistic, critic of women’s tennis. This film serves up a compelling look at the resonance the King/Riggs match had both on the world of sport (with the TV broadcast of the match drawing 50 million viewers), and society at large.

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