Ella Fitzgerald was a 15-year-old street kid when she won a talent contest in 1934 at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Within months she was a star. This film follows her extraordinary journey over six decades as her sublime voice transforms the tragedies of her own life and the troubles of her times into joy. The film uses never-be-fore-seen images and unheard interviews to bring Ella Fitzgerald to life and to tell the story of her music — a black woman who makes her career in the face of horrifying racism.
Leslie Woodhead is one of Britain’s most distinguished documentary filmmakers, and winner of many international awards. He began his 40 years career at Granada Television in Manchester as a Graduate Trainee in 1961. His film <Comrade Rockstar> about American singer Dean Reed is being developed by Tom Hanks as a Hollywood movie. He has also made music documentaries with Tony Bennett and Randy Newman.