Battle of the Sexes

Directors Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton discuss Battle of the Sexes

October 1, 2017 A DGA Q&A in Los Angeles

The true story of the historic 1973 tennis match is retold in Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton’s new comedic sports biography, Battle of the Sexes.

Faris & Dayton’s film takes us back to the 1970s when the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement came together on a tennis court as World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs played a match that became so much more than a game. Set against the backdrop of King’s public drive for equality while privately struggling to come to terms with her sexuality and Riggs’ battles with his gambling demons and family issues, the cultural spectacle became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world.

On October 1, following the DGA membership screening in Los Angeles, Faris & Dayton sat down with Director Nicole Holofcener (The Land of Steady Habits) to discuss the making of Battle of the Sexes.

In addition to Battle of the Sexes, Faris & Dayton’s credits include the feature film Ruby Sparks; the pilot for the television series Highston; episodes of the series Mr. Show with Bob and David and The Cutting Edge Happy Hour; and numerous Grammy Award-winning music videos. They were nominated for the 2006 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Little Miss Sunshine. Faris currently serves as an Alternate to the DGA National Board and both have served as alternates to the Western Directors Council. Faris & Dayton also currently serve as co-chairs of the DGA Western Independent Directors Committee and have been DGA members since 1996.

You can listen to Faris & Dayton's Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below.


Event photos by Shane Karns - print courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.

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DGA Quarterly Magazine Directing Sports Valerie Faris Jonathan Dayton Battle of the Sexes
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