Jazz vocalist Billie Holiday is one of the most iconic singers/songwriters in the history of music.
Her classic songs such as “Strange Fruit,” and “God Bless the Child,” are standards in the American Songbook. Diana Ross gave an Oscar-nominated performance in Lady Sings the Blues, a biopic of Holiday’s life. Now, the great Billie Holiday will be the subject of an upcoming documentary directed by James Erskine, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The documentary is said to feature will include never-before-heard interviews, music and archived footage provided by the indie music label group Concord, which holds the rights to Holiday’s estate.
Concord, New Black Films’ Victoria Gregory, and Barry Clark-Ewers and REP Documentary’s Laure Vaysse are set to produce the documentary.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film will follow the account of Holiday’s life provided by literary journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl, who died in 1979 before finishing her intended biography on the jazz singer.
“We are thrilled to be working with the creative team of James Erskine and New Black Films, who have taken great care to produce a documentary that honors the life and work of Billie Holiday in an exciting, genre-defying way,” Sophia Dilley said in a statement.
Billie will contain a compilation of more than 200 hours of interviews done with the “Strange Fruit” singer’s contemporaries including Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie, and Tony Bennett. Others featured will include Holiday’s drug dealers, pimps, cellmates, lawyers and the FBI agents who arrested her for narcotics use.
Billie is in post-production and has been pre-sold internationally to studios in Australia, New Zealand, France and Switzerland.