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ABC Gives Unprecedented Boost To Oscar-Nominated ‘Summer Of Soul’: Primetime TV Slot Ahead Of Academy Awards

Academy Award-nominated documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution May perchance presumably well perchance No longer Be Televised) is getting a unheard of enhance for its Oscar possibilities – a premiere on community television.

Disney-owned ABC announced this might presumably perchance neutral air the film directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson in primetime on Sunday, February 20. The documentary, regarding the lengthy-left out Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969, comes from Disney’s Onyx Collective, Searchlight Photos and Hulu. Summer of Soul started streaming on Hulu final July, simultaneously with its theatrical liberate.

“In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson provides an spectacular and transporting documentary – phase song film, phase historical sage – created around an fable match that well-known Dim historical previous, culture and vogue,” ABC eminent in a liberate. “Over the path of six weeks in summer 1969, correct 100 miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival used to be filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The photos used to be largely forgotten – until now.”

Mavis Staples and Mahalia Jackson produce on the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969
Onyx Collective/Hulu/Searchlight Photos

The news qualifies as unheard of in extra than one appreciate. It’s unheard of for an Oscar-nominated documentary to receive a primetime community premiere leading as much as the Academy Awards (closing Oscar voting begins March 17). No longer handiest that, but the very motive no longer steadily somebody – even Questlove himself, sooner than he started work on the documentary – knew regarding the Harlem Cultural Festival is that community executives again within the day handed on the replacement to equipment the concert photos into a TV particular. That truth explains the film’s subtitle, “(…Or, When the Revolution May perchance presumably well perchance No longer Be Televised).

The fashioned concert photos, shot by Hal Tulchin, remained in reality dormant for half a century, a goldmine of performances by leading Dim artists from a younger Stevie Surprise to David Ruffin, Sly and the Family Stone, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone and plenty of others. Woodstock, held that identical summer, grew to vary into a defining cultural moment for the country, but lacking the same media consideration, the Harlem Cultural Festival by no manner received the probability to entire the the same roughly significance.

“This film is ready therapeutic,” Questlove told Closing date in an interview correct after the Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday morning. “The scheme of the film used to be that the enviornment might presumably perchance scrutinize this joy, this class and the vision and the boldness and the bravery to strive and arrange [the concert series]. Even though it took 50 years for it to receive to this put apart, it sooner or later came upon its put apart within the sun.”

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, director of Summer of Soul
Robert Benavides/Sony Photos Classics

Summer of Soul premiered final January on the Sundance Movie Festival, the put apart it won the Gargantuan Jury Prize for U.S. documentary and the Audience Award.

“The film has swept the Critics’ Preference Documentary Awards with wins in all six categories for which it used to be nominated,” ABC eminent, “in conjunction with Highest Documentary Characteristic and Highest Director.”

The film is nominated for a Producers Guild of The United States Award, and Questlove has also been nominated for a Directors Guild Award. It’s contending in four categories on the upcoming IDA Awards, moreover to for a Grammy as Highest Music Movie.

Questlove is an creator, hip hop historian, DJ, and a dash-setter of The Roots, The Tonight Indicate dwelling band. But it absolutely took some convincing to receive him to think the helm on Summer of Soul, on condition that he hadn’t directed a film sooner than.

He told Closing date, “I got right here into it very frightened, extraordinarily frightened, [wondering] ‘Manufacture I beget the flexibility to in actuality repeat a compelling sage and in actuality attain americans in their heart?’

The uniquely major nature of the mission sooner or later persuaded him to provide the jump. “For me,” he stated, “It’s correct about restoring historical previous.”

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