Philly’s Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Will Smith take home an Oscar and top honors at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Last night at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, it was a celebration of Philadelphia-born and bred talent everywhere you looked and listened.
Starting with the Oscars’ Musical Director, Adam Blackstone – the bandleader fronting an all-star band with Shelia E. Robert Glasper and Travis Barker – and his lead orchestrator, conductor, Derrick Hodge, the sound of the Academy Awards was a local thing. And face it, no matter what you thought of who won and lost among your favorites, the musical vibe of the Oscar ceremony worked.
Questlove’s Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) film about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival won the Oscar for Best Original Documentary at the 94th Academy Awards.
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s directorial debut won over a handful of worthy candidates (Attica, Flee, and Writing with Fire), and shared his Best Doc award with producers Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent, David Dinerstein.
“This is such a stunning moment for me right now, but it’s not about me,” said Questlove regarding his victory. “It’s about marginalized people in Harlem that needed to heal from pain. Just know that in 2022, this is not just a 1969 story about marginalized people in Harlem.”
As for Overbrook’s Will Smith and his Oscar 2022 win for Best Actor, he called Richard Williams – the father of tennis stars Serena and Venus who he played in King Richard – a fierce defender of his family. “Life imitates art,” said Will Smith in his stage-time acceptance speech.
“In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world. Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis, who is one of the most-strongest, most delicate people I’ve ever met. I got to protect Saniyya [Sidney] and Demi [Singleton], the two actresses that play Venus and Serena. I’m being called on in my life to love people. And to protect people and to be a river to my people.”
Next up for Philly, the Grammys.