February 10, 2021
10:00am Central Time
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Welcome to Indie Lens Pop-Up virtual screening of Mr. SOUL! hosted by John Michael Kohler Arts Center and Milwaukee PBS. After the film we will switch over to Zoom for a community conversation.

Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Ellis Haizlip - Mr. SOUL!. From 1968 to 1973, Haizlip produced and hosted the public television variety show SOUL!, offering an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics. Mr. SOUL! captures a critical moment in culture whose impact continues to resonate today.

We are pleased to offer closed captions for this screening and ASL interpretation for the post-screening discussion.

Enjoy the show!

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.

Indie Lens Transition Video

MrSOUL ILPOPUP Onscreen EndCard

90 minutes


  • John Michael Kohler Arts Center

    JMKAC is a not-for-profit arts center that holds classes, performances, exhibitions, and more! Our MISSION is to generate a creative exchange between artists and the public.


  • Melissa Haizlip

    MELISSA HAIZLIP (Producer | Director | Writer) 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. Her goal is to advocate and amplify the voices of women and people of color. Melissa’s feature documentary, Mr. SOUL! is nominated for the 2021 Cinema Eye Honors, for Outstanding Debut Feature. The film won the 2020 Critics Choice Documentary Award for Best First Documentary Feature. Mr. SOUL! received 27 nominations and won 19 awards, including 14 film festival awards. Melissa went to Yale University. She’s currently co-executive producing a docuseries on women in hip-hop for Netflix.

  • Michael Z. Newman

    Michael Z. Newman is a Professor of Media, Cinema, and Digital Studies in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His books include Indie: An American Film Culture and Video Revolutions: On the History of a Medium.

  • Gayle Wald

    Gayle Wald is Professor of American Studies at George Washington University. She teaches courses on popular music, African American literature and culture, and media history. She is the author of 3 books, including It's Been Beautiful: Soul! and Black Power Television, published by Duke University Press in 2015. Her 2007 biography Shout, Sister, Shout! The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, has been the basis of a documentary film and a stage musical (book by Cheryl L. West), which was staged most recently at Seattle Repertory Theater. For her work on Soul! she received fellowship support from the Guggenheim Foundation.

  • Nicole Watson

    Nicole Watson (she/they) is a novice ASL interpreter from the San Francisco Bay Area, unceded Ohlone territory, California. Proud to be a third-generation Filipino-American, Nicole is passionate about serving BIPOC intersectional Deaf communities. Nicole works with social justice organizers, performing arts, and cultural heritage non-profits outside of the interpreting field.

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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.