1091 Pictures has acquired worldwide digital rights to A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem, a feature documentary directed and produced by Yu Gu, written and produced by Elizabeth Ai and co-produced by Jin Yoo-Kim. The film, which had its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, will be available to buy on platforms January 26, 2021, and rent February 2.
The doc follows Lacy, an Oakland Raiders cheerleader who sued the team in 2014 for wage theft, and Maria, a former cheerleader for the Buffalo Bills who filed a similar suit with three others, as they fight for fair compensation from the NFL amid a structure in which some cheerleaders are compensated at less than minimum wage, compared with the teams’ players, mascots and concession workers. In the process, they reveal a culture of toxic masculinity and the devaluation of women’s labor in society. The Raiders eventually settled their suit and increased their cheerleaders’ pay.
“This film couldn’t be more timely in 2021 with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris shattering racial and gender barriers for women in the workplace,” said Yu. “However, we have yet to level the playing field. I hope this film can help inspire viewers, especially women, to recognize their value, to challenge harmful systems and to support each other along the way.”
Sally Jo Fifer is executive producer of the pic, with Michael Ehrenzweig supervising producer and Monika Navarro consulting producer. The deal was made by 1091 manager of film distribution Emma Manfredi.
Based on a true story, the plot follows detective Anders Olsen (Pilou Asbæk, Euron Greyjoy on Game of Thrones) as he investigates a case in which a bank robber shoots two bank clerks before fleeing with the money. With the help of a hypnotist (Rade Šerbedžija), he discovers a sinister mystery involving mind control and the charismatic criminal Björn Schow Nielsen (Lucas), who secretly befriends the investigator’s young wife, bringing the menace ever closer. Halonen, William Aldridge, and Mitchell Bard wrote the script.
Christopher Fulford and Sara Soulié also star.
The deal was negotiated by Eric D. Wilkinson on behalf of MVD Entertainment and Ernst Etchie Stroh of Moonstone Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers.