Black Bottom Film Festival: Mr.SOUL!

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February 15, 2021
7:00pm Eastern Time
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Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Mr. SOUL!

Ellis Haizlip ensures the Revolution will be televised with SOUL!, America’s first “Black Tonight Show.”

Join us immediately after the film for a conversation with Joe Lewis, Jessica Lanay, Melissa Haizlip, and Blaire Underwood.

Video Descriptions

MrSOUL ILPOPUP Onscreen StartingSoon

Filmmaker Introduction

Filmmaker Melissa Hazlip introduces Mr. SOUL!

Mr. SOUL! - Indie Lens Pop Up

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.

Mr. Soul! A conversation with Melissa Haizlip and Blair Underwood

BBFF curator Joe Lewis and AWAACC Literary curator Jessica Lanay moderate this conversation between filmmaker Melissa Haizlip and Executive Producer Blair Underwood about the documentary Mr. Soul!.

MrSOUL ILPOPUP Onscreen EndCard

124min 26sec



  • Panelist Avatar
    Joe Lewis


    Curator, BBFF

  • Panelist Avatar
    Cydney Nunn


    Senior Marketing Manager, AWAACC

  • Panelist Avatar
    Amanda Wilson


    Senior Programming Manager, AWAACC

  • Panelist Avatar
    Janis Burley Wilson


    President, AWAACC

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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.