Louis Armstrong’s secret daughter will shed light on the personal life of the music and cultural icon in the acclaimed PBS film “Little Satchmo.”
The film, which won the Southeast Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Documentary, will be featured at Docs In Progress’ December Silver Screen Series at 7 p.m. on December 12th. Following the screening, there will be a live in-person Q&A with the film’s star, Louis Armstrong’s daughter, Sharon Preston-Folta.
Sharon Preston-Folta steps into the spotlight in “Little Satchmo” after living in the shadow of her father for many years. The documentary tells the story of a family and their relationship that remained hidden for over 50 years. It is mainly narrated from the perspective of Sharon, who was loved and cared for by her father until his passing. The acclaimed film is based on Preston-Folta’s memoir of the same name. It recounts how Sharon, the child of a 20-year romance between Satchmo and Harlem dancer Lucille ‘Sweets’ Preston, had to keep her true identity secret for many years before revealing it to the public.
The documentary explores complex themes such as race, father-daughter relationships, family, identity, and single-parent households.
According to a press release, “Little Satchmo” was sponsored by the Southern Documentary Fund and premiered on PBS Reel South Season 7. The Emmy-winning film continues to be shown on television nationally and internationally, as well as in art house theaters, film festivals, and educational and institutional screenings around the world. The film has won top prizes in France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan, and the USA.
PBS International is handling the film’s global release.
Lea Umberger and JC Guest were the producers of “Little Satchmo,” directed by John Alexander. Sharon Preston-Folta, Emily Bonavia, and Susan Houston served as executive producers. The film includes narration by John Boutté and original music performed by Wycliffe Gordon, composed by Emmy/Grammy winner and nominee Eddie Korvin.
Docs In Progress is hosting the screening on December 12th at the ground level of the Alexander House, located at 8560 2nd Ave., Suite 113 in downtown Silver Spring. The event is free and open to the public, but online registration is required.
Photo: Little Satchmo Documentary LLC / Facebook