'Billie': Release date, crew, trailer and all you need to know about docu on legendary jazz innovator's life

The definitive biographical documentary is releasing soon with rare footage of exclusive interviews taken by late journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl

                            'Billie': Release date, crew, trailer and all you need to know about docu on legendary jazz innovator's life
Billie Holiday (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

If you're a lover of all things jazz or a fan of biographical documentaries, this is a must-watch. Presented by Greenwich Entertainment, a new documentary featuring the life and influence of one of jazz music's biggest innovators, Billie Holiday, is hitting theaters and virtual cinema this week. Titled 'Billie', the imminent definitive biographical film will feature never-before-seen footage of "Lady Day" and interviews of friends and extraordinary characters that were in her life, pulled together from over 200 hours of tape-recordings by journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl.

Kuehl originally tracked down the recordings from 1971 for a period of eight years, and had set out to write a book. The book was never finished, however, and the tapes were never heard, until now. Additionally, footage for 'Billie' has also received an upgrade to color and restoration to clarity, gifting fans who've longed for such a visual treat. Holiday passed away in 1959. She was seen as a jazz pioneer particularly for expressing a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo, as well as her improvisational skills. Find out all you need to know for 'Billie' below.

Release date

According to Greenwich Entertainment, both the theater release and the streaming premiere will take place on December 4 in the US (limited release).


1h 36m


Apart from it being centered around Billie Holiday, with interviews from musical greats like Charles Mingus, Tony Bennett, Sylvia Syms and Count Basie, the documentary is helmed by an award-winning team. James Erskine takes on the role of the director while Victoria Gregory, James Erskine, Laure Vaysse, Barry Clark-Ewers are the film's producers. Erskine is also a producer and Will Clarke is the executive producer.

Most commonly known as a documentary and short filmmaker, James Erskine has also lead direction on television shows. While he is credited as director on a number of various projects, he has also written for and produced a number of documentaries and television shows. With all three roles, he was worked on movies such as 'EMR', 'Shooting for Socrates', 'The White Room' and 'The Healer'. His television projects include 'EastEnders', 'Holby City' and 'Waterloo Road'.

Linda Lipnack Kuehl, the journalist behind the footage, was a high-school teacher and Holiday fan with a sideline in arts journalism. With a keen interest to share her project with the world, it eventually became overwhelming and she never finished it. In 1979, she was found dead on a Washington sidewalk. Although police officials Police declared it a suicide, (allegedly Kuehl jumped from her hotel room), there was no evidence to prove this.




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