Sarasota, FL – Deadline Hollywood, a leading resource of film and entertainment industry news, posted an exclusive first-look at the teaser trailer on Tuesday morning for Little Satchmo, a new documentary that for the first time tells the story of a secret daughter fathered by jazz legend Louis Armstrong. Rolling Stone quickly followed, posting the teaser online shortly after the Deadline exclusive.
Viewers are invited to visit littlesatchmodoc.com to view the minute-long clip.
The film is based on a memoir, Little Satchmo: Living in the Shadow of My Father, Louis Daniel Armstrong, published eight years ago by Armstrong’s only child, Sharon Preston-Folta. Dispelling the myth that the legend they called “Satchmo” died childless, the memoir instead provides a vivid family story told through his daughter’s eyes – a daughter he called his own ‘Little Satchmo’ but who has been unwritten in the countless biographies of the entertainer, both during his life and posthumously – until now.
Little Satchmo unveils a more three-dimensional, complex portrayal of a legend, arguably the most famous American of all time, whose reputation and image are all too often reduced to caricature.
Preston-Folta, with the love of a daughter and the wisdom of a parent herself now, narrates Little Satchmo as a first-person account of what it was like to live a secret life in the shadow of Louis Armstrong. Through point-of-view shots, low angles and committed childlike B roll, inserts and cutaways, the film places viewers in the shoes of Little Satchmo herself, encapsulating the private life behind the curtain of one of the public’s most treasured entertainers.
Says Preston-Folta, “Writing my memoir was and continues to be a healing experience for me and encourages people to own their story and speak their truth. Now that my story will be on film, it will have the opportunity to spread encouragement to a wider audience.”
Little Satchmo is helmed by multiple award-winning Director John Alexander (This is Love) and makes its debut this spring. Alexander says the film is an opportunity to bring a new understanding to an American icon as the world honors his legacy during the 50th Anniversary of his death this summer:
“The release of the Little Satchmo official trailer is a big moment,” says Alexander, “not only for Sharon, whose strength has enabled her harbor this secret for a lifetime, but for the general public, who despite their tireless love of Armstrong’s music and persona have been grossly under-informed about a more complete picture of the human being behind the American icon.
“During a time when so much production in Hollywood has been halted, the ability to unveil this timely story of human rights, societal pressures and race relations is especially meaningful, welcomed and urgent. I am honored to have collaborated with the Little Satchmo team and cannot wait for the public to see the film.”
Little Satchmo has maintained significant momentum throughout production, receiving nonprofit fiscal sponsorship from the Southern Documentary Fund and a letter of support from REEL South, a PBS Documentary series focused on Southern stories and culture. In November, The Library of Congress accepted into their collection a series of personal correspondences from Armstrong to Preston-Folta and her mother, the dancer Lucille “Sweets” Preston, detailing her familial ties.
The film, produced by JC Guest and Lea Umberger, is executive produced by Sharon Preston-Folta and Susan Houston. Ann Garvey, Emily Bonavia, Muriel Minot and Terrence Beasor are Co-Producing with Associate Producers Jennifer and Tom Cotter.
To learn more and join this uplifting journey, including ways to support the project, please visit littlesatchmodoc.com and on social media @littlesatchmodoc.