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ADVISORY: Reel Progress and ESPN Films Host Premiere Screenings of ‘Venus Vs.’ and ‘Let Them Wear Towels’

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Contact: Madeline Meth
Phone: 202.741.6277

Washington, D.C.On Monday, July 1, 2013, the Center for American Progress’s Reel Progress film series and ESPN Films will host the premiere screenings of “Venus Vs.” and “Let Them Wear Towels,” two remarkable sports stories that shed light on larger struggles women face for workplace equality. The two films will air on ESPN this summer and are part of “Nine for IX,” a film series created by ESPN Films and espnW to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX. Following the screenings, a panel of distinguished guests, including the director of “Venus Vs.,” award-winning sports journalists, and the vice president of espnW, will discuss the films and take questions from the audience.

In the ESPN film “Venus Vs.,” director Ava DuVernay explores the movement, led by Venus Williams and Billie Jean King, seeking equal pay for women’s tennis players at Wimbledona fight Venus ultimately wins.

The ESPN film “Let Them Wear Towels” examines the obstacles facing female sports journalists seeking to break into the “boys club” of the professional sports locker room. The film features pioneering female sports journalists Melissa Ludtke, Christine Brennan, Lesley Visser, Claire Smith, and more, and tells of the outright hostile atmosphere that these brave women faced while trying to do their jobs.


Jocelyn Frye,
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Opening remarks:
Latifa Lyles,
Acting Director, Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor

Distinguished panelists:
Ava DuVernay,
Director, “Venus Vs.”
Christine Brennan, featured journalist, “Let Them Wear Towels”
Melissa Ludtke,  featured journalist, “Let Them Wear Towels”
Laura Gentile, Vice President, espnW

Daniella Gibbs Léger, Senior Vice President, American Values & New Communities, Center for American Progress


Monday, July 1, 2013
6:30 p.m. ET – 9:00 p.m. ET


Landmark’s E Street Cinema
555 11th St. NW
(entrance on E Street between 10th and 11th Street)
Washington, D.C. 20004


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For more information, please contact Madeline Meth at and 202.741.6277.


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