Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Billie Holiday film to be shot in state

By Kym Soper
Journal Inquirer
Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:08 PM EDT

A local group with Vernon ties has plans to shoot a movie in Connecticut about legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday over the next two years.

Wayne Holmes, co-owner of Vernon recording studios Rockville USA and a member of Connecticut’s Hollywood East Legislative Task Force, planned to make the announcement today in New Haven with entertainment lawyer Isaiah Cooper and discuss details of “Lady Day” already in production.

Queen Latifah has been approached to play the role and has shown an interest in portraying the Harlem singer and her troubled life, Holmes and Cooper say.

Award-winning screenwriter Paris Qualles also has indicated interest in both writing and producing, they say.

Stuart Nicholson, author of the biography “Billie Holiday,” has agreed to license his book and background files to the production and act as consultant.

The group says that often non-resident producers take advantage of the state’s 30 percent tax credit for shooting films here.

But the Billie Holiday film proves that Connecticut not only has the capacity to host these productions, but also conceive, produce, and deliver major motion pictures originating within the state, they say.

The announcement today at the New Haven Shubert Theater was to feature recordings of Billie Holiday’s music.

Diana Ross played Billie Holiday in the 1972 biopic, “Lady Sings the Blues.”

Copyright © 2008 - Journal Inquirer