Love to Love You, Donna Summer

Love to Love You, Donna Summer tells the extraordinary story of disco queen Donna Summer through a rich archive of unpublished film excerpts, home video, photographs, artwork, writings, personal audio and other recordings that span the life of one of the most iconic performers ever to shake a room to its timbers. From her early career with Giorgio Moroder in Germany, to later years more focused on spirituality and family life as a shelter from troubles associated with both notoriety and intimate wounds, her story is all the more special for being told in the first person – both singular and plural. Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams and Summer’s daughter Brooklyn Sudano’s film has benefitted from Sudano’s privileged perspective, and her access to family members has helped gather a treasure of memories and material. But the intelligence and effect of the duo’s filmmaking approach itself is truly striking. Thanks to the skilful assimilation of audio testimonies into this wealth of images, we are able to discover – or rediscover – how complete an artist Donna Summer was. A key creator of her innovative hit songs, an articulate and funny entertainer and even a talented painter, this emancipated woman invented a lot – herself included.
by Roger Ross Williams, Brooklyn Sudano USA 2023 English 105’ Colour World premiere | Documentary Form


Directors Roger Ross Williams, Brooklyn Sudano
Editing Enat Sidi, Jon Smith, Jean Tsien
Music T. Griffin
Sound Design Leslie Shatz
Producers Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, Roger Ross Williams, David Blackman
Executive Producers Brooklyn Sudano, Bruce Sudano, Michele Anthony, Bruce Resnikoff
Co-Producer J. Daniel Torres
Co-Production Motto Pictures New York

Produced by

Motto Pictures

Roger Ross Williams

The screenwriter, producer and director has won numerous awards for his work including an Oscar for his film Music by Prudence, making him the first African-American director to win an Academy Award. His film Life, Animated won a directing award at Sundance and three Emmys. With his production company, One Story Up, he has produced works including the series High on the Hog, the documentary Civil: Ben Crump and his debut feature film Cassandro.

Filmography (selection)

2003 New York Underground; TV film · The Lives They Lived; TV film 2005 Sheila Bridges: Designer Living; series, 2 episodes 2010 Music by Prudence; documentary 2013 God Loves Uganda; documentary 2014 Independent Lens; series, 1 episode 2015 Gospel of Intolerance; short film · Blackface; short film 2016 Life, Animated; documentary · The New Yorker Presents; series, 1 episode 2018 American Jail; documentary · Storyville; series, 1 episode · Take Back the Harbor; short documentary 2019 Traveling While Black; short documentary · The Apollo; documentary · Jaiquan’s Sketch; short film 2020 The Innocence Files; miniseries, 3 episodes 2021 High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America; miniseries, 3 episodes 2023 Cassandro · The 1619 Project; miniseries, 2 episodes · Love to Love You, Donna Summer

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023

Brooklyn Sudano

The actor, producer and director has worked for over 20 years in the entertainment industry. As an actor, she has appeared in programmes including the sitcom My Wife and Kids and the series Taken, Ballers and Cruel Summer. Co-directed with Roger Ross Williams, Love to Love You, Donna Summer is her debut film as a director.


2023 Love to Love You, Donna Summer; documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023