Questlove To Direct Sly Stone Documentary

Academy Award-winner Common is set to executive produce the untitled project.

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Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Questlove is on board to direct a documentary that will chronicle the life and work of the pioneering funk artist, Sly Stone. Academy Award-winning artist Common will serve as executive producer of the untitled film. The project will mark Questlove’s directorial follow-up to the highly-acclaimed Summer of Soul, which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival and tells the story of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.

According to a press release, the documentary will explore “the story of the influential artist, king of funk, and fashion icon Sly Stone, a musician who was breaking all the rules at a time when doing so was extremely challenging, even dangerous. The pressure of explosive mainstream pop success and the responsibility of representing Black America forced him to walk the fine line of impossible expectations.”

Questlove – who will make the film under The Roots’ production house, Two One Five Entertainment, along with producers Zarah Zohlman and Shawn Ge – stated “It goes beyond saying that Sly’s creative legacy is in my DNA… it’s a Black musician’s blueprint…to be given the honor to explore his history and legacy is beyond a dream for me.”

The Roots co-founder, meanwhile, is currently enjoying the success of Summer of Soul, which won the Grand Jury Prize in Sundance’s US Documentary category, as well as the Audience Award. The film features a trove of previously-unreleased footage, and includes performances by Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Nina Simone, among others. Earlier this month, Summer of Soul was acquired by Hulu and Searchlight Pictures in a record-breaking sale.

Summer Of Soul is a passion project and to have it resonate with so many people on so many levels has been incredibly rewarding,” said Questlove in an earlier statement. “I…look forward to sharing the important story behind the film with audiences worldwide.”

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