The Williams sisters are getting back into the producing game.
Serena and Venus Williams, along with their sister Isha Price, have joined documentary Between Starshine and Clay: The Hidden Diary of Diahann Carroll as executive producers alongside Katy Barksdale and Valerie Gamache. The project, currently in production, is being co-directed by Susanne Rostock and Carroll’s daughter, Suzanne Kay, who are producing alongside Color Farm Media’s Erika Alexander and Ben Arnon.
“After my mother’s passing in October 2019, I discovered her hidden diary,” Kay said in a statement. “Our relationship was challenging. I think she intended for me to find it. So, as her only child, this is also a personal journey to gain a deeper understanding about who my mother was.”
In her career, Carroll broke through multiple color barriers for Black women, becoming the first to star in her own television series (Julia) and the first to win a Tony Award for best actress in a musical (No Strings). The documentary will feature notable women reading passages from Carroll’s diary alongside never-before-seen home videos, family photographs and private correspondence between Carroll and longtime paramour Sidney Poitier.
“Diahann Carroll has paved the way for so many, including myself, and I hope that this personal look into her life will continue to inspire audiences and future generations,” Serena Williams, who will produce through her recently launched Nine Two Six Productions, said in a statement. Added Venus Williams in a statement, “What resonated with me was the project’s commitment to illuminating Diahann Carroll’s trailblazing legacy through unique storytelling, highlighting the parallels between the present day and the past. Diahann was a cultural icon, and her determination to remain authentic and push back against established norms has empowered generations for over seven decades.”
Color Farm, founded by Arnon and Living Single star Alexander, has previously produced the documentaries John Lewis: Good Trouble and The Big Payback and the nonfiction podcast Finding Tamika.
“Ben and I are thrilled to be partnered with Suzanne Kay and Susanne Rostock on this incredible project to tell Diahann’s story,” Alexander said in a statement. “Susanne Rostock’s unique vision as a director and editor is incomparable and Suzanne is her mother’s daughter — smart, talented and generous. To add Venus and Serena to this team is an honor, and they know what the challenge is in being historic firsts. It’s a perfect match.”