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Roger Ross Williams & Brooklyn Sudano – Donna Summer’s Daughter – On Their Film About A Music Icon: “She Was A True Artist” – SXSW Studio

Donna Summer's Daughter Talks SXSW Documentary About Her Mom


Section: 24 Beats Per Second

Directors: Roger Ross Williams, Brooklyn Sudano (Donna Summer’s daughter)

Logline: Love to Love You, Donna Summer captures a richly complex picture of the woman, the artist, the wife, and mother whose iconic voice changed music forever. An archive of exclusive, previously unseen film, home video, photographs, artwork, personal audio, and other recordings form the film’s vibrant exploration of the life and career of one of the most extraordinary performers ever to shake a room to its timbers.

Panelists: Roger Ross Williams (director); Brooklyn Sudano (director)

Distributor: HBO Documentary Films

Premiered: Saturday, March 11; Next screening 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, at Alamo Lamar

Key Quotes: Brooklyn Sudano: “One of my motivations in wanting to do this — and for my family as well — was to really highlight that [Donna Summer] was not just a vocalist, that she was a true artist, a songwriter, a gifted writer, a painter, that her life was about creation, even on the smallest levels. And you see in the film, like a lot of the home videos and things like [her] playing the piano, singing around the house — everything was about creation. And that was really how her mind worked.”

Roger Ross Williams: “I grew up singing in the choir in the Baptist church, in my family’s church. I was the illegitimate son of the minister, and Donna grew up in the church — a very complicated relationship with that church. I, too, have a very complicated relationship with my church, so I really connected with Donna’s story on a deep, personal level. I’ve always wanted to make this film, I always wanted to make a Donna Summer in film, and I was like, ‘How am I gonna get to do this?’ And when [producer] Julie Goldman came to me and gave me the opportunity, she’s like, ‘Well, your dream’s about to come true.’”

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