Anita O’Day biopic in development

Sheri Howell, 47 Pictures set sights on jazz singer

Producer Sheri Howell is developing a biopic of jazz singer Anita O’Day through Los Angeles-based 47 Pictures Inc.

Howell, who spent over a decade as an MTV exec, has optioned the life rights to O’Day, who died three years ago at the age of 87. The documentary “Anita O’Day: Life of a Jazz Singer” received a 2010 Grammy nomination for longform musicvideo.

47 Pictures principal Cameron Hopkins is exec producing.

O’Day performed with the big bands of Gene Krupa and Stan Kenton, teamed with Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong, and established a solo career that rivaled those of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. She’s best known for her perf at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, shown in “Jazz on a Summer’s Day.”

“While most stories and projects about O’Day so far have focused on her unbelievable force of will and perseverance, there’s an amazingly rich story to be told about her vulnerability, and this almost childlike search for love and acceptance that guided her… very often in the wrong direction,” Howell said

Howell is president of Howell Heavy Industry, a production and brand development consulting company. She exec produced the Emmy-winning “Yes, We Can Song” short film.

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