WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY MELISSA HAIZLIP
MUSIC COMPOSED BY ROBERT GLASPER
NARRATION WITH BLAIR UNDERWOOD
OPENING AUGUST 28 IN THEATERS AND VIRTUAL CINEMAS ACROSS THE NATION
Digital and Radio Facts: MR. SOUL! is right on time given the subject – Ellis Haizlip – and his accomplishments as America’s first Black nighttime talk show host during the Civil Rights Movement/Black Power Movement from 1968 – 1973. It is a rich story that will resonate with audiences across the nation and across generations. With Black Lives Matter and the current state of our country and our communities addressing racism in a meaningful manner – Haizlip’s story and his inspiration are now even more important.
Ellis was innovative, political, and gay. In his personal fight for social equality, this man ensured that the revolution would be televised. Along with the incredible music performances from Gladys Knight, Al Green, Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder and more; historical interviews with folks like Muhammad Ali, Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson, James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Kathleen Cleaver, Stokely Carmichael, Harry Belafonte, and others; and performances from Sonia Sanchez, George Faison, The Last Poets, Alvin Ailey and more, MR. SOUL! captures this monumental movement in America, at a time when the whole nation was going through a change. This time now feels very familiar. WATCH THE FILM’S TEASER CLIP BELOW.
MR. SOUL! features music and a soundtrack that has audiences mesmerized, and are composed and performed by the Grammy® winning Robert Glasper with vocals from Grammy® winning Lalah Hathway. The film also features narration by acclaimed actor Blair Underwood who is also one of the film’s producers.
ACCOLADES AND HIGHLIGHTS
- WINNER – Best Music Documentary – 2018 International Documentary Awards
- WINNER – Audience Award, Best Feature – 2018 AFI DOCS
- WINNER – Best Documentary Feature – 2019 Pan African Film Festival
- World Premiere – 2018 Tribeca Film Festival
- Official Selection – 2018 BFI London Film Festival
- Official Selection – 2018 HotDocs Film Festival
- Official Selection – 2018 LA Film Festival
- Official Selection – 2019 True/False Film Fest + over 20 more Festivals
Before Oprah – before Arsenio – there was Mr. SOUL! Ellis Haizlip makes television broadcast history with SOUL!, America’s first “black Tonight Show.”
Right on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, one fearless black pioneer reignited a Harlem Renaissance for a new era, ushering giants and rising stars of Black American culture onto the national television stage. He was hip. He was smart. He was innovative, political, and gay. In his personal fight for social equality, this man ensured the revolution would be televised. The man was Ellis Haizlip. The Revolution was SOUL! – an amazing weekly television show that aired on public television from 1968 – 1973 celebrating Black American culture, art, life, and community and shared it with the nation via the airwaves.
Featuring rare live performances and interviews from the legendary Al Green, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson, James Baldwin, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Ashford and Simpson, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, Billy Preston, Black Ivory, The Delfonics, Bill Withers, Nikki Giovanni, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Sonia Sanchez, The Last Poets, Wilson Pickett, Odetta, Merry Clayton, Mandrill, Kool and the Gang, Toni Morrison, Kathleen Cleaver, Betty Shabazz, Stokely Carmichael, Mrs. George Jackson, George Faison, Patti Labelle and many more, the film MR. SOUL! is directed and produced by Melissa Haizlip featuring music composed by Grammy® winning musician/composer Robert Glasper with narration by Blair Underwood – one of the film’s producers.
SOUL! was among the first national show to provide expanded images of African Americans on television, shifting the gaze from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. With participants’ recollections and a bevy of great archival clips, MR. SOUL! captures a critical moment in our nation’s cultural rise and whose impact continues to resonate.
AWARDS AND FILM FESTIVAL HISTORY:
MR. SOUL! premiered at TRIBECA 2018 where audiences embraced the film and went on to win a number of awards on the festival circuit playing over 30 film festivals including HOT DOCS, AFI Docs, BFI London, Woodstock Film Fest, Pan African Film Festival, Urban World, Los Angeles Film Festival and more. The film has won over 17 awards including the International Documentary Association (IDA) Best Music Documentary; the Library of Congress Lavine-Ken Burns Film Award Finalist Prize; AFI Docs Audience Award; Woodstock Best Documentary; and many more.
As of this date, MR. SOUL! will open in virtual cinemas in the following partnering theaters and cities on August 28 (with more to come):
|PARTNERING CINEMAS – VIRTUAL||CITIES|
|BERKELEY ART MUSEUM/PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE||BERKELEY|
|ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE||CORPUS CHRISTI|
|ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE||DALLAS/FORT WORTH|
|ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE||EL PASO|
|ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE||KANSAS CITY|
|LAEMMLE CINEMAS||LOS ANGELES|
|INDIE MEMPHIS FESTIVAL||MEMPHIS|
|MAYSLES CINEMA||NEW YORK|
|IMAGENATION-SOL CINEMA||NEW YORK|
|BLACK DOC COLLECTIVE||NEW YORK|
|PORTLAND ART MUSEUM||PORTLAND, ME|
|ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE||SAN ANTONIO|
|ROXIE CINEMA||SAN FRANCISCO|
|ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE||SAN FRANCISCO|
|SMITH RAFAEL||SAN RAFAEL|
|SIFF FILM CENTER||SEATTLE|
|ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE||TWIN CITIES|
|AFI SILVER||WASHINGTON DC/SILVER SPRINGS|