×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Billie Holiday Documentary Draws Buyers as Concord Boards Project

Concord, the successor to the Billie Holiday Estate, has boarded James Erskine’s documentary “Billie,” which tracks the iconic jazz singer’s life. Altitude Film Sales has sold the project to several territories.

Also joining the project, now in post-production, is the Brazilian colorization artist Marina Amaral. Most of the filmed and still images that exist of Holiday are in black and white.

The film has been acquired in a number of international territories: Australia and New Zealand (The Backlot), Benelux (Belga), France (AB Groupe), Italy (Wanted), Switzerland (Praesens), and Yugoslavia (Discovery). Altitude Film Distribution will release the film in the U.K.

The doc tells Holiday’s story through the eyes of journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl, whose obsession with the singer would lead to her own mysterious, untimely death. Anchored around never-before-heard interviews, “Billie” will play out like a film noir, according to Altitude Film Sales.

In 1971, Lipnack Kuehl set out to write the definitive biography of Holiday. Over eight years, she recorded more than 200 hours of interviews with people who knew Holiday during her tumultuous life. The book was never finished and the tapes never released.

The film is produced by New Black Films’ Victoria Gregory and Barry Clark-Ewers, and REP Documentary’s Laure Vaysse. Concord’s Scott Pascucci and Sophia Dilley will serve as executive producers, alongside Altitude’s Will Clarke, Andy Mayson and Mike Runagall.

“Billie” is a New Black Films and REP Documentary production in association with Concord Music, Belga Films, the BBC and Multiprises.

Dilley, VP of film and TV development and production for Concord, said: “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.”

Variety reported last June that “Empire” creator Lee Daniels was in talks to direct a biopic of Holiday, potentially to star singer Andra Day.

More Film

  • 'Shazam!' Review: Zachary Levi is Pure

    Film Review: 'Shazam!'

    In “Shazam!,” Zachary Levi brings off something so winning it’s irresistible. He plays a square-jawed, rippling-muscled man of might, with a cheesy Day-Glo lighting bolt affixed to his chest, who projects an insanely wholesome and old-fashioned idea of what a superhero can be. But he’s also playing a breathless teenage kid on the inside, and [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Box Office: 'Us' on Track for Second-Highest Debut of 2019 With $67 Million

    Jordan Peele’s “Us” is on its way to scaring up one of the biggest debuts of 2019, with an estimated $67 million from 3,741 North American locations. Should estimates hold, “Us” will be able to claim several milestones: the highest debut for an original horror movie (the biggest launch for any horror pic goes to [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D6-2160.cr2

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content