Mr. SOUL! Directed
Melissa Haizlip USA / 2018 / 115 minutes
Times and Venues:
Orpheum Theater SAUGERTIES
From 1968 to 1973, the public-television variety show SOUL!, guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of black literature, poetry, music, and politics—voices that had few other options for national exposure, and, as a result, found the program an improbable place to call home. The series was among the first 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 culture whose impact continues to resonate.
MELISSA HAIZLIP (Producer/ Director/ Writer) was born in Boston and raised in NY, CT, and the US Virgin Islands. She attended Yale University, enjoyed a career on Broadway found her way into filmmaking after working in development at AFI. Melissa produced the award-winning narrative LGBTQ short YOU’RE DEAD TO ME directed by Wu Tsang, which premiered on the PBS Online Film Festival after opening at Outfest 2013. The film won the 2013 Imagen Award for Best Short and played over 75 festivals worldwide. Melissa also produced several art films and installations for director Wu Tsang including A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BLISS, recently acquired by MoMA for their permanent collection. Melissa’s two-channel art films have been funded and exhibited by the Hammer Museum’s Los Angeles Biennial, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Clifton Benevento Gallery in SoHo. Melissa received a 2016 JustFilms Grant from the Ford Foundation, the 2015 Media Projects Production Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the 2015 Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund Grant from the International Documentary Association for Mr. SOUL! She has also received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, ITVS, Black Public Media, Firelight Media Doc Lab, Awesome Without Borders, the Puffin Foundation, Film Independent's Project: Involve and the Chaz and Roger Ebert fellowship. She is currently in production on the sci-fi feature A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BLISS directed by Wu Tsang. Melissa was a 2016 Flaherty Fellow and the 2016 NBPC Artist in Residence. She lives in the Hudson Valley, New York.
The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization with a mission to present an
annual program and year-round schedule of film, music,
and art-related activities that promote artists, culture,
inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film
Commission promotes sustainable economic development
by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.