NET Nebraska | Mr. SOUL!
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Join NET Nebraska for a screening of the new documentary "Mr. SOUL!" followed by a panel discussion featuring:
- Director Melissa Haizlip
- Jade Rogers, adjunct professor at Metropolitan Community College, Iowa Western Community College, and University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of The House of Afros, Capes, & Curls
- Denise Chapman, Producing Artistic Director for Theatre at Omaha's Union for Contemporary Art
- Deborah Bunting, arts consultant and Omaha Community Foundation board member
About the Film
Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Ellis Haizlip—Mr. SOUL! On the heels of the civil rights movement, the public television variety show SOUL!, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics—voices that had few other options for national television exposure. Guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, the series was among the first to provide expanded images of Black Americans on television and recognize the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. The film celebrates the groundbreaking PBS series against the backdrop of a swiftly changing political and social landscape, while profiling Haizlip, the charismatic man behind one of the most culturally significant and successful TV shows in U.S. history. With participants’ recollections and archival clips, "Mr. SOUL!" captures a critical moment in culture whose impact continues to resonate.
"Mr. SOUL!" premieres on Independent Lens Monday, February 22, 2021, 10:00-11:30 PM ET (check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video App.
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Welcome to OVEE
Filmmaker Melissa Hazlip introduces Mr. SOUL!
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In 1968, producer Ellis Haizlip developed a new show aimed at Black audiences, one that used the familiar variety-show format to display and celebrate the breadth of Black culture. For five years, the public television series SOUL! highlighted Black literature, music, and politics, and often paired guests in unexpected juxtapositions that gave them an opportunity to shine in unique ways.
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- Maggie Berndt
Community Engagement Manager for NET, Nebraska's PBS & NPR Stations
- Melissa Haizlip
Producer, director, and writer of MR. SOUL!, Melissa Haizlip is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York. Her work responds to pressing social issues at the intersection of racial justice, social justice, activism, and representation. Female transformation and empowerment are at the core of all of her ideas, with the goal being to advocate and amplify the voices of women and people of color. Melissa’s feature documentary, Mr. SOUL! has won the Critics Choice Award for Best First Documentary Feature 2020. In 2019 Mr. SOUL! was a finalist and won a prize for the inaugural Library of Congress Lavine / Ken Burns Prize for Film, a new, annual prize that recognizes a filmmaker whose documentary uses original research and compelling narrative to tell stories that touch on some aspect of American history. The film won Best Music Documentary at the 2018 International Documentary Association Awards. Mr. SOUL! premiered at Tribeca and screened at 50 festivals, receiving 16 Jury and Audience Awards for Best Documentary, and the 2019 FOCAL Award for Best Use of Archival Footage in an Entertainment Production. Melissa directed and produced CONTACT HIGH: A VISUAL HISTORY OF HIP-HOP and produced YOU’RE DEAD TO ME (2013) directed by Wu Tsang, about a grieving Chicana mother coming to terms with the loss of her transgender child on Día de los Muertos. The film won Best Short at the 2014 Imagen Awards, and screened at over 50 festivals and museums. Melissa’s two-channel art films have been exhibited by the Hammer Museum Los Angeles Biennial, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Melissa has been awarded grants from the Ford Foundation JustFilms, National Endowment for the Humanities, International Documentary Association, National Endowment for the Arts, Black Public Media, Firelight Media, ITVS, Awesome Without Borders, and Puffin Foundation. Melissa went to Yale University. She’s currently co-executive producing a docuseries on women in hip-hop for Netflix.
- Jade Rogers
Jade Rogers is a Historian, an adjunct professor at Metropolitan Community College and the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of The House of Afros, Capes, & Curls. After receiving a B.A. in Black Studies and Elementary Education, she obtained a Master’s in African American World Studies from the University of Iowa. She has also completed all course work towards her PhD in History at Morgan State University and has training as an Archivist and Oral Historian. Jade has taught on the elementary level in the District of Columbia Public Schools, and the University of Iowa as well. She has worked with numerous non-profit youth serving organizations including Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha and Greater Washington in Maryland, Girls Inc., The Center for Holistic Development and most recently served as the Youth Engagement Manager at The Union for Contemporary Arts. Building community and service are a part of Jade’s strong belief system. A Class XIX graduate from Heartland Blueprint, a United Way of the Midlands program to help increase minority racial/ethnic volunteer leadership, and she has served on many education and non-profit executive boards. With over 20 years of teaching and community engagement experience, she strives to raise the visibility of the tremendous contributions and accomplishments of African Americans in the Midwest. For The Great Plains Black History Museum, she has served as its Archivist, facilitates public programs on a variety of historical topics and also conducts Oral History and Genealogy workshops. And...she's a blerd at heart. Science fiction, fantasy, World of Warcraft, The Sims and Octavia Butler. Star Wars + Star Trek + the X-Men hold equal space in her heart.
- Denise Chapman
Denise Chapman graduated from Creighton University with a BA in theatre. She went on to receive her MFA from the Theatre Conservatory at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. After graduation she performed with Qwest Educational Programs touring elementary and middle schools in the greater Chicago land area and worked as a Solo performing artist. She returned to Omaha in 2006 and worked with Blue Barn’s Witching hour for three years as Co-Artistic director/ensemble member and at the Omaha Community Playhouse as the director of education and outreach. She is a strong believer that art changes our lives for the better, it gives a voice to those who feel like they are not being heard, and expresses a vision of hope to all those who are touched by it. She is an alumni of the fellowship program at the Union for Contemporary Art. She was an Artist in Residence at the Carver Bank project, a collaboration between Bemis and Theaster Gates and “Livness is Critical” at the Bemis Center Currently she is the Producing Artistic Director of Theatre at The Union for Contemporary Art and an adjunct professor at Metro Community College and the University of Nebraska Omaha. Past Directing Credits include The Divine Order of Becoming, Bourbon at the Border, Center the Margins, and The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. More Than Neighbors (The Union) The Crowd You’re in, Neighborhood Tapestries, Voices from the Center- Great Plains Theatre Festival (GPTC), Withlove Felicia, Love is not Abuse – Malcom X Center, House of Blue Leaves, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf (Circle Theatre),The Good Doctor (Creighton University) Sand Mountain and Brighton Beach Memoirs (Midland Lutheran University) Sweet, Tell Martha Not to Moan, Marvelous Country, Turpentine Jake (Readings for GPTC) The Nightshade Tapes, Hello Madness, If, and Hysterical Blindness 3 (Blue Barn’s Witching Hour) Acting credits include: Mildred D Brown – Northside Carnation, Sophie- Flying West, Ester- Intimate Apparel Omaha Community Playhouse, Loretta- Breathe- GPTC, Ensemble- Down and out in Heaven and Hell – Blue Barn’s Witching Hour, Just…-Hot House, Spook- Shoes – Victory Gardens Theatre Chicago, IL
- Deborah Bunting
Deborah Bunting is an arts consultant who works at the intersection of arts and community engagement. While at the Nebraska Arts Council, she worked as Community Development Manager directing programs and services that enriched Nebraska’s arts organizations and their communities. Much of her work involved traditionally underserved communities. She has served on numerous boards and panels including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kennedy Centers LEAD (Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability) program ensuring accessibility to the arts for all. Since retiring, she is assisting organizations with capacity building, strategic planning, conducting information workshops and various special projects, most recently serving as community arts liaison for the 30 AMERICANS exhibit at Joslyn Art Museum. Deborah is also a textile artist whose work has been featured in exhibitions and is in private collections. For over 50 years, she has active in the North Omaha community serving on various committees and leading the charge for equity and inclusion. She currently serves on the board of the Omaha Community Foundation.
The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.