The tale of Billie Holiday has been told on-screen on several occasions. In 1973, Diana Ross earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for portraying the famed singer in the acclaimed biopic, Lady Sings The Blues. In 2016, Audra McDonald earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her performance as Holliday in the HBO's Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. However, there's still more of her story left to be told, and an upcoming documentary will remedy that.
Simply titled Billie, the documentary will explore Holiday's life through the eyes of journalist Linda Lipnak Kuehl. Billie will include tape-recorded interviews with many of Holiday's peers including Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan and Charles Mingus. The film will be directed by James Erskine, with backing from Concord, the successor to the Billie Holiday estate. Altitude Film Sales is currently handling the North American rights to Billie in collaboration with Endeavor Content.
The documentary will be produced by New Black Films' Victoria Gregory and Barry Clark-Ewers and REP Documentary’s Laure Vaysse. It will also be executive produced by Scott Pascucci and Sophia Dilley. Last year, it was reported that Lee Daniels was in talks to direct a biopic on Billie Holiday, with Andra Day and Lakeith Stanfield to star.