Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots is putting his movie director’s cap on once again and will film a documentary on musician Sly Stone. Common is also one of the executive producers of the film which will be released through MRC Non-Fiction.
“It goes beyond saying that Sly’s creative legacy is in my DNA. It’s a Black musician’s blueprint. To be given the honor to explore his history and legacy is beyond a dream for me,” the “Dance to the Music” creator, Questlove told Variety in a statement.
A production synopsis describes the artist born Sylvester Stewart as “breaking all the rules at a time when doing so was extremely challenging, even dangerous,” The [indominable] Sly and the Family Stone’s massive success and “the responsibility of representing Black America forced him to walk the fine line of impossible expectations,” the statement continues.
Considered a recluse, the singer walked away from the music business in 1982 and at one point was living in his van while he battled record companies for his royalties.
“Sly’s influence on popular music and culture as a whole is immeasurable, and what his career represents is a parable that transcends time and place,” Amit Dey, head of MRC Non-Fiction, also also told Variety. “Questlove’s vision, sensitivity and reverence brings the urgency that Sly’s story and music deserve, and we’re excited to be working with him to bring Sly’s story to life,” Dey added.
Questlove’s feature directing debut Summer of Soul won an Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in January of 2021. The film highlights the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a series of concerts that took place during the same summer and was often referred to as the Black Woodstock.
Disney’s Searchlight and Hulu purchased the film earlier this month as well for $12 million.