Imagine-produced documentary feature tells Armstrong’s story entirely through the revolutionary musician’s own words
Apple Original Films announced that it has green lit the anticipated Louis Armstrong documentary feature “Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong” from Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries to join its Academy Award-nominated feature film slate.
The documentary, which is produced under Apple’s first-look agreement with Imagine Documentaries, will be directed by Emmy-nominated Sacha Jenkins (“Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men”), and produced by Jenkins, Julie Anderson, Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard serve as executive producers. The project is being produced in association with Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment with Michele Anthony and David Blackman serving as executive producers.
The film offers a definitive look at the master musician’s life and legacy as a founding father of jazz, the first pop star and a cultural ambassador of the United States. He was loved by millions worldwide but often mischaracterized for not doing enough to support the civil rights movement. In reality, his fight for social justice was fueled by his celebrity and his willingness to break his silence on issues of segregation and patriotism. With the full support of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the filmmakers have access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival materials, including hundreds of hours of audio recordings, film footage, photographs, personal diaries and a life’s worth of ephemera for exclusive use in the first significant documentary dedicated entirely to his life.
“Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong” follows the global success of the critically acclaimed Apple/Imagine documentary “Dads” for Apple Original Films from director Bryce Dallas Howard, the Emmy-winning “Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10” directed by Morgan Neville, as well as the upcoming docuseries “The Supermodels.” Apple will soon premiere the “Peanuts 70th Anniversary, Who Are You Charlie Brown?” documentary from Imagine Documentaries and WildBrain.
The film will join Apple’s expanding offering of acclaimed, award-winning documentaries and docuseries, including “Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You”; “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry,” directed by award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler; five-time Emmy Award-nominated “Beastie Boys Story”; Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Award-winning “Boys State”; and Emmy Award-nominated series “Home.”
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