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The Emmy Goes To: “Little Satchmo”

ATLANTA — Music and cultural icon Louis Armstrong reveals a new side of personal life vis a vis his secret daughter in the acclaimed PBS film Little Satchmo, winner of the Southeast EMMY Award for Outstanding Historical Documentary.

Sharon Preston-Folta comes forward in the documentary after living closely in the shadows of her father, unveiling a family and their relationship that was kept entirely invisible for more than 50 years.

The feature documentary is the Season Premiere of PBS Reel South Season 7, running nationally on television in the USA, in theaters and at film festivals in North America, Europe, and Asia. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Southeast Chapter, has named Little Satchmo the one winner out of five titles nominated for the Best Historical Documentary EMMY. The winner of the EMMY was announced at the 49th Annual Emmy Awards Gala in Atlanta on Sat June 17th and presented to director John Alexander and producer JC Guest.

Little Satchmo is based on Preston-Folta’s memoir of the same title, detailing how Sharon, the product of a two-decade love affair between Satchmo and Harlem dancer Lucille ‘Sweets’ Preston, had no option but to harbor and conceal her identity for decades before making it public.

Prior to its Emmy win, Little Satchmo made a sold-out world premiere at Oscar-qualifying Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in Greece followed by critically acclaimed debuts at the American Black Film Festival, Toronto’s Hot Docs’ Doc Soup Film Series, the Oscar-qualifying Krakow Film Festival and via AARP’s “Movies for Grownups” series, in addition to dozens of international festivals worldwide, picking up top prizes in France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan, and the USA. PBS International handles the film’s global release, with national television broadcasts in the UK, New Zealand, Italy, in addition to the USA and other territories.

Director John Alexander and producer JC Guest previously made record-breaking and multi award-winning Rudy Love documentary This Is Love and award-winning cult thriller Bender. Little Satchmo is also produced by the late Lea Umberger, and executive produced by Sharon Preston-Folta, Emily Bonavia and Susan Houston. Ann Garvey, Muriel Minot, Terrence Beasor, Lindsey Hall, Jenn & Tom Cotter and Michael & Suzy Valentino are co- and associate producers with two-time Emmy nominee Shawn Rhodes. The film features narration by John Boutté and original music with Wycliffe Gordon from Emmy/Grammy winner and nominee, composer Eddie Korvin.

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