Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesQuestlove is ready to step behind the camera for a new project.
Variety has learned the Roots drummer will make his feature directorial debut with Black Woodstock, an original documentary about the Harlem Cultural Festival.
Named Black Woodstock by the neighborhood’s residents, the Harlem Cultural Festival first took place 1969, one year after assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The outdoor event, held at Mount Morris Park in Harlem, featured artists such as Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, B.B. King, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.
Even though the festival drew over 300,000 people, the music event received little to no coverage from mainstream media. According to Variety, Thompson hopes to bring attention to the festival with his film, which will feature 40 hours of never-seen-before footage originally shot by the late television pioneer Hal Tulchin.
“I am truly excited to help bring the passion, the story and the music of the Harlem Cultural Festival to audiences around the world,” Questlove told Variety. “The performances are extraordinary. I was stunned when I saw the lost footage for the first time. It’s incredible to look at 50 years of history that’s never been told, and I’m eager and humbled to tell that story.”
“The music and performances in Black Woodstock will knock audiences out of their seats. The footage is unusually rich in texture and feel,” added producers David Dinerstein and Robert Fyvolent. “We are so proud to be working alongside Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson on his directorial debut. We are confident he will bring an authenticity and unique vision to the film.”
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