Searchlight Pictures and Hulu have acquired the documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) which made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

Photo Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Photo Courtesy of Sundance Institute

What’s Happening:

  • The Hollywood Reporter says that Searchlight Pictures and Hulu have acquired Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) which tells the story of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival using over 40 hours of archival footage.
  • The film is the directorial debut of musician, songwriter, DJ, and journalist Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.
  • Summer of Soul is set for theatrical release, a streaming release on Hulu, and an international release on Star and Star+.
  • Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the sale is the biggest for a documentary in the history of Sundance going for $12 million.
  • Tara Duncan and Disney General Entertainment’s BIPOC Creator initiative made the acquisition.
  • The film won the audience award and the grand jury prize in the U.S. documentary competition section at Sundance.

What They’re Saying:

  • Tara Duncan, Disney General Entertainment’s BIPOC Creator initiative: "It’s rare to find a film that captures the breadth of the Black American experience and also makes you want to dance, testify and sing out loud. Ahmir has gifted us with a brilliantly crafted, nearly forgotten gem from our history, and we are honored to help bring Summer Of Soul to audiences.”
  • David Dinerstein, Robert Fyvolent, Producers: "It’s been overwhelming to watch audiences rediscover this lost piece of history and fall in love with our film. As people are struggling to restore their lives in the midst of a pandemic, we feel this film will bring joy, together with a needed reexamination of important social issues. We could not have asked for a better launch from the Sundance Film Festival, and we are deeply excited to partner with Searchlight Pictures, Hulu and the Disney family on an epic global release.”

Laughing Place’s Alex saw the movie during Sundance giving it a glowing review stating, “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) chronicles a celebratory event in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement. It showcases how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go towards achieving true equality as a nation, but most of all, it’s a celebration of Black American culture through music. It’s a legends-only must-see event that needs to reach as wide an audience as possible.”

Summer of Soul will be reaching that wide audience when it releases in theaters, Hulu, Star, and Star+.

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