Questlove to Direct ‘Black Woodstock’ Documentary on 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival


The Roots’ drummer will make his directorial debut with the film.

Questlove is set to make his directorial debut for the forthcoming Black Woodstock feature documentary. The flick revolves around 1969's Harlem Cultural Festival, which is often overlooked when compared to the famed Woodstock festival of the same year. 

“I am truly excited to help bring the passion, the story and the music of the Harlem Cultural Festival to audiences around the world," the Roots drummer said in a statement. "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."

Even though over 300,000 packed into Harlem’s Mount Morris Park, the outdoor festival was brushed over by most mainstream media publications at the time. The 40 hours of uncovered footage shot by Hal Tulchin features performances from legends such as Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Nina Simone, B.B. King, the Staple Singers, and Gladys Knight and the Pips. Other artists who performed during the monthlong series included Sly and the Family Stone, the 5th Dimension, The Staples Singers, Mahalia Jackson and many more.

Back in August, Deadline reported that the Roots artist will also serve as a producer on an upcoming Soul Train musical coming to Broadway.