Hot off an Oscar win for his 2021 directorial debut “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is preparing to return to the director’s chair for another documentary about Black music history. The multi-hyphenate is currently at work on an untitled documentary with MRC about Sly and the Family Stone frontman Sylvester Stewart, better known by his stage name Sly Stone. In addition to directing, Questlove will produce the film alongside Joseph Patel and Derik Murray.
The official synopsis for the untitled documentary reads: “Oscar-winning filmmaker Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson directs his sophomore feature documentary follow-up to ‘Summer of Soul,’ examining the life and legacy of Sly and the Family Stone, the groundbreaking band led by the charismatic and enigmatic Sly Stone. This film tells the story behind the rise, reign and fadeout of one of pop music’s most influential artists and, in doing so, tells a very human story about the cost of genius.”
Onyx Collective, a division of Disney that focuses on developing projects for filmmakers from underrepresented demographics, announced the project along with several other acquisitions it made for Hulu. The slate also includes the Kris Bowers music documentary “Anthem” and “Sheba,” a new Ethiopian-set drama series created by “Yellowjackets” writer Chantelle Wells and executive produced by Ryan Coogler.
Onyx Collective was founded in 2021 as a way to diversify Hulu’s programming and give minority creators the support they need to do work that exists outside the conventional blockbuster ecosystem. Onyx Collective notably flagged “Summer of Soul” early on the festival circuit when it was still titled “Black Woodstock” and helped shepherd it through a year-long Oscar campaign that ultimately resulted in a win for Best Documentary Feature.
“Our industry is immeasurably enriched by the incredible talents of emerging and established creators of color. Launching Onyx Collective allows us to be the best partners to those creators, providing them with the support they need to do their best work,” Disney General Entertainment Content chairman Dana Walden said in a statement when the division was announced. “We have the opportunity to tell transformative stories that authentically represent our audience and are essential to our success.”