Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s feature documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) has been awarded the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary and the Audience Award for U.S. Documentary at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. In his directorial debut, Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) explores the legendary 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival which celebrated African American music and culture and promoted black pride and unity.
Of the prizes, Questlove shares, “It has always been a dream of mine to direct films and telling this story has truly been an amazing experience. I am overwhelmed and honored by the reception the film is receiving and want to give special thanks to Sundance, and my production partners: Radical Media, Vulcan Productions, Concordia, Play/Action Pictures and LarryBilly Productions.”
In 1969, during the same summer as Woodstock, a different music festival took place 100 miles away. Over 300,000 people attended the concert series known as the Harlem Cultural Festival. It was free to all. The festival was filmed, but after that summer, the footage sat in a basement for 50 years. It has never been seen. Until now. Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) is produced by David Dinerstein, Robert Fyvolent, Joseph Patel, and RadicalMedia New York.