Private Project

On the Sly : In Search of the Family Stone

Michael Rubenstone, a first-time filmmaker, and Sly and the Family Stone super fan, sets out to find the band’s leader, the reclusive funk legend - Sly Stone. In doing so, he manages to make the most comprehensive documentary on the band to date, while also bringing Sly out of hiding for the first time since his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1993. Part road movie, part rock doc, ‘On the Sly’ follows Michael over the course of 10 years, across the US as he unearths the true story of the band and chronicles how a musical icon fell from grace. But will he ever get the chance to meet his hero? Is he still the man he set out to find in the first place? Hit the road and join the search!

  • Michael Rubenstone
  • Michael Rubenstone
  • Michael Rubenstone
  • Pat Sheehan
  • Michael Rubenstone
    Key Cast
  • Cornel West
    Key Cast
  • Bobby Womack
    Key Cast
  • Paul Shaffer
    Key Cast
  • Dick Cavett
    Key Cast
  • Michael Wadleigh
    Key Cast
  • Michael Lange
    Key Cast
  • Freddy Stone
    Key Cast
  • Jerry Martini
    Key Cast
  • Greg Errico
    Key Cast
  • Cynthia Robinson
    Key Cast
  • David Kapralik
    Key Cast
  • George Johnson
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 22 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 4, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HDV, Mini DV 24P
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Slamdance Film Festival
    Park City, Utah
    United States
    January 25, 2017
    World Premeire
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    United Kingdom
    July 1, 2017
    International Premiere
Director Biography - Michael Rubenstone

Michael Rubenstone is an actor/writer/director. His TV and Theatre credits include - TV: The Goldbergs, Grandfathered, Revenge, Happy Endings, The Mentalist, Common Law, Breaking In, Jericho, Private Practice. Michael’s theatre credits include End of the Rainbow (ICT Long Beach) The Skin of our Teeth (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Romeo and Juliet (Pittsburgh Public Theatre) Michael is a graduate of the University of Michigan. ‘On the Sly: In Search of the Family Stone’ is his directorial debut.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

‘On the Sly : In Search of the Family Stone’ started as a simple idea. Why don’t I rent a camera and see if I can find my musical hero – Sly Stone. I hear he lives in L.A – I’ll go and find him. Easy, right? Hardly. I found out pretty fast that I had picked possibly the most difficult subject in the music industry. I didn’t know anything about making a film. I just knew that there was a story that needed to be told. Little did I know – it was not only Sly’s story – it was my own. ‘On the Sly’ was my film school. It took over 12 years to complete. It is a labor of love. It is independent filmmaking. It’s got music, suspense, drama, drugs, a rich history and cinematic poetry. I hope that this film shines a deserved light and new appreciation for the genius of Sly Stone’s music. I also hope that it sends a message to every young filmmaker that – you can make it, if you try.