Tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams and Westbrook Studios of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith participated aboard COPA 71 documentary about the 1971 Women’s World Cup.
The Williams sisters will serve as executive producers on the film, which is a co-production between Dogwoof and New Black Films. The project is produced and supported by Westbrook.
COPA 71, currently in production and featuring promising never-before-seen archival footage, tells the story of the 1971 Women’s World Cup, when soccer teams from around the world gathered at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium to watch more than 100,000 spectators to compete against each other. It was the last Women’s World Cup until the official FIFA event 20 years later. The event was dismissed by both FIFA and national football associations around the world and went down in history – until now.
In addition to her legendary career as one of the greatest and most successful tennis players of all time, Serena Williams is also a supporter of Los Angeles’s all-women professional soccer team, Angel City FC.
“‘Copa 71’ tells the story of one of the most inspiring and meaningful moments in the history of women’s sport,” said Serena Williams. “I am honored to work with my sisters and Westbrook Studios to help bring to light this magical story that has been buried for far too long.”
Venus Williams added: “When I heard about the 1971 Women’s World Cup, I couldn’t believe that this incredible story was being erased from our history books. I look forward to working with my sisters and Westbrook Studios to uplift and empower other women athletes and their achievements, and to ensure these women are heard through this inspiring documentary.”
The film joins a burgeoning documentary series from Westbrook, the studio founded by Smith and Pinkett Smith in 2019. Last summer, Westbrook Studios announced its first documentary, chronicling the Full Circle Expedition — the first all-black climbing team to summit Mount Everest — as they shift legacy in the historically white-dominated sport. On the series side, Westbrook Studios is also behind the upcoming Netflix docu-series African Queens.
COPA 71 is co-directed by James Erskine (Billie) and debutante Rachel Ramsay. New Black Films commissions Victoria Gregory (“Battle of the Sexes”) to produce alongside Westbrook Studios’ Jannat Gargi (“Summer of Soul”) and Dogwoof’s Anna Godas (“Citizen Ashe”). Executive producers include Alex Holmes for New Black Films, Jon Mone for Westbrook Studios and Isha Price.
London-based documentary film specialists Dogwoof work across production, distribution and UK theatrical distribution. The company has released 28 Oscar-nominated documentaries to date, with four wins and three other BAFTA winners. Also based in London, New Black Films specializes in the stories of game changers in sports and performance.