Questlove is gearing up for the release of his directorial debut with documentary Summer Of Soul, and now a trailer for the anticipated film has been released. You can check it out below.
With a full title of Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), the documentary is about the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969 – otherwise known as “the Black Woodstock” – which took place the same summer as Woodstock.
The trailer initially premiered during the 93rd Academy Awards, which Questlove served as music producer for.
Footage from the 1969 festival sat in a basement for 50 years, with performances from the likes of Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Mahalia Jackson and more.
In a statement isued to IndieWire, Questlove – real name Ahmir Khalib Thompson – expressed his shock that footage of the event had gone unseen for so long.
“I personally live a life where musical gatherings and musical moments define my life,” he said. “What would have happened if this was allowed a seat at the table? How much of a difference would that have made in my life? That was the moment that extinguished any doubt I had that I could do this.”
The film premiered at Sundance earlier this year, where it took home the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the U.S. documentary category.
In addition to Summer of Soul, The Roots drummer has also been tipped to direct a documentary centered on musician and producer Sly Stone, whose band Sly and the Family Stone also played the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.
In addition, Questlove is also set to publish his sixth book Music Is History this October, in which he’ll explore one song per year for every year since 1971.
It’s unclear what songs will be covered, but a press release for the book said it will explore “how Black identity reshaped itself during the blaxploitation era, […] the assembly-line nature of disco and its hostility to Black genius, [and] his own youth as a pop fan and what it taught him about America.”
Summer of Soul is set to hit American cinemas and streaming service Hulu in July.