Questlove’s ‘Summer of Soul’ Sets New Record for Documentary Sale at Sundance

Summer of Soul has been acquired for streaming in the largest sale of a documentary in Sundance history.

After winning the top prizes at Sundance Film Festival earlier this week, Questlove‘s Summer of Soul documentary has been picked up for streaming by Hulu.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Roots drummer’s directorial debut was scooped by Searchlight and Hulu in the highest sale of a documentary in the film festival’s history. The price wasn’t revealed, but the previous record-setting sale was in 2019 when Apple acquired Boys State for $12 million.

Summer of Soul (…Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised,) premiered at Sundance last week to rave reviews. It took home the U.S Grand Jury Prize for documentaries along with the Audience Award at this year’s festival. The film stitches together more than 40 hours of previously unseen footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which includes performances from Nina Simone, B.B. King, Mavis Staples, Sly & The Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, and more.

“I’m so honored to be allowed to manifest my dreams after all this time,” Questlove said in a statement. “This is truly an honor. Summer Of Soul is a passion project and to have it resonate with so many people on so many levels has been incredibly rewarding,” the director adds. “It’s rare to find a film that captures the breadth of the Black American experience and also makes you want to dance, testify and sing out loud,” says Tara Duncan, President of Disney’s Freeform network and leader of the company’s BIPOC creator initiative.

Dates for the streaming and theatrical releases of Summer of Soul have yet to be announced. But it shouldn’t be long now. Stay tuned for updates on the film’s big and small screen debuts in the weeks and months ahead.

Watch Questlove discuss the project in the clip below.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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