Endemol Shine Group CEO Sophie Turner Laing and 21st Century Fox co-hosted a screening of Fox Searchlight’s “Battle of the Sexes” last evening in London. The event was held ahead of the U.K. release for “Battle of the Sexes” (Friday, Nov. 24) and celebrated the achievements of the women portrayed in the film. 21CF owns a 50 percent interest in Endemol Shine Group, a global TV production company.
“The best biopics have something to say both about the world as it was then, and the world in which we live today. ‘Battle of the Sexes’ does exactly that, reminding us that the gender equality and women’s rights highlighted have never been more relevant,” Sophie said in her remarks before the screening.
She recounted recent occurrences showing the challenges women continue to face in the tennis world. “’Battle of the Sexes’ is a reminder of how far we have come, but also of how far we have still got to go.”
Guests for the screening included Josie Law, producer for Route 24; Kay Burley, broadcaster for Sky News; Marc Samuelson, Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee; Krish Majumdar, Chair of Television Committee for BAFTA; Sarah Lazenby, commissioning editor, Factual Entertainment and Entertainment for Channel 4; Amelia Richards, Commercial Director for Creative Industries Federation; Ed Havard, Head of Entertainment, TV Events and Sport for Channel 4; Hamish Mykura, EVP Programming and Development for National Geographic; Jane Millichip, Managing Director of Sky Vision; presenter Edith Bowman; producer Esta Blechman; Ade Rawcliffe, Head of Diversity for ITV Commissioning; Amanda Wilson, Managing Director of Sharp Jack Media; and Syeda Irtizaali, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment, TV Events and Sport for Channel 4.
“Battle of the Sexes,” directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, tells the story of the legendary tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973. The film explores goes beyond the match to explore the social and cultural issues of the time, including LGBT acceptance and the fight to guarantee equal pay for men and women.
To mark the U.S. release of the film, 21CF donated a portion of ticket sales to the Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean to empower female athletes. 21CF’s public affairs team in Washington, D.C., also hosted an advanced screening of the Fox Searchlight film to highlight the important role Billie Jean played in breaking down cultural barriers in the U.S. and elsewhere.