Philadelphia Eagles

Jeffrey Lurie's production company wins Academy Award for best documentary


Dec 1, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie walks midfield prior to the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Philadelphia Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Summer of Soul, produced by Jeffrey Lurie’s Play/Action Pictures production company, won the Academy Award for best documentary Sunday night. It's the third Academy Award that the Eagles owner has been associated with.

Lurie was executive producer of Summer of Soul, which was directed by Philly native Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and uses never-before-seen footage of six Harlem Cultural Festival concerts to document Black culture, music and history in New York in the summer of 1969.

Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) was the directorial debut for Questlove, who is drummer for the Roots as well as an author, historian, songwriter and professor.

The film features restored footage of performances by Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, the Fifth Dimension, B.B. King, Ray Barretto and many others along with interviews with several performers and concert attendees.

About 40 hours of footage was shot at the six concerts, which were held at Harlem’s Mount Morris Park from July 29 through Aug. 24, 1969, and attended by about 300,000 people. The footage sat untouched until it was discovered in 2004, and Questlove eventually secured the rights to use it.

Summer of Soul also won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was named best documentary at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards and the British Academy Film Awards. It also received a Grammy for best music film.

Lurie, who saw Sly and the Family Stone several times in Boston as a kid, previously won Oscars as executive producer of Inside Job in 2011 and as executive producer of Inocente in 2013.

Also nominated for best documentary were Ascension, Attica, Fire and Writing with Fire.

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