With an Oscar nomination waiting in the wings, the accolades continue to pile in for Questlove and his documentary, The Summer of Soul.
If you have followed dosage MAGAZINE’s coverage of Philadelphia’s Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s cinematic directorial debut, 2021’s Summer of Soul – the highly acclaimed and highly paid-for documentary on the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, featuring Nina Simone, the Fifth Dimension, the Staple Singers, Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder and more – you know that Questo is as amazed as you are that his filmic excursion has taken off as nobly and boldly as it has. Critics and audiences have been bowled over by the Black Power through-line of its narrative as well as the searingly emotional music and footage that was recovered for Summer of Soul, to say nothing of its fresh interview segments with its performers and then-young audience attendees.
Last night, the ball started rolling hard and fast to a possible Oscar nomination for Questlove as The Roots drummer and Tonight Show band leader’s film debut won all six categories in which it was duly nominated at the 2021 Critics Choice Documentary Awards held in Brooklyn.
The first CCDA prize of the night for best first documentary feature went to Quest with his speech stating. “I’ve been in this industry for 30 plus years and I always thought celebrating something was a weakness. When my first album came out or when my first book came out or my first day of teaching class, I sort of just pushed it to the side like it was nothing. I’ve learned that it’s safe to celebrate an achievement so how ironic that this new journey in my life starts now.”
Questlove then went on to tie for Best Director, win for Best Archival Documentary, Best Music Documentary and Best Editing. That last award was presented by Questlove to Questlove which had to be a little weird. And overall, Questlove noted that, “This is hands down the best night of my life.”
So, how does Questlove follow up the Summer of Soul? He has already stated that he’s started work on a documentary on the controversial life and work of Sly Stone and his Family Stone, so that is in the mix for 2023. And, in keeping with all things Sly and the Family Stone, this morning Legacy/Epic Records celebrated the November 1 1971 of Sly’s classic There’s a Riot Goin On’ Sly & The Family – “a departure from the optimistic psychedelic soul of previous records and shifted to a more political and militant vibe, perfectly encapsulating the turbulent political climate in the United States at the turn of the 1970s” – by stating that the album would get a fire red vinyl re-release on December 3.
That’s a family affair, indeed.