Summer of Soul is a feature documentary about the Harlem Cultural Festival directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.
This film marks Thompson’s feature directorial debut and focuses on the 1969 outdoor festival in Harlem’s Mount Morris Park. The festival featured dozens of extraordinary performances by artists including Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Nina Simone, B.B. King, the Staple Singers, the 5th Dimension, David Ruffin, Mahalia Jackson and Gladys Knight and the Pips.
The Harlem Cultural Festival took place the same summer as the famed Woodstock festival, and boasted an attendance on par with that concert 100 miles away. Over 300,000 people attended, yet it received virtually no coverage from the mainstream media. The 40 hours of never-seen-before footage was originally shot by the late television pioneer Hal Tulchin, but has remained in storage for the past 50 years, keeping this incredible event in America’s history lost - until now.
Critics Choice Docs Awards Best Documentary Feature Best Director Best First Documentary Feature Best Editing Best Archival Best Music Documentary Los Angeles Film Critics Awards Best Documentary/Non fiction Best Editing Sundance Film Festival Awards Audience Award Grand Jury Prize Chicago Film Critics Society Best Documentary