By Iride Aparicio

Mr Soul
Photos Courtesy: David Magdad & Associates

SILICON VALLEY -- Mr. SOUL came to television before OPRAH and Before ARSENIO, but now from New York to LA, to Cleveland, to San Francisco, to San José, to Miami to Seattle, Houston, Indianapolis and many more cities, people who never heard of him before will get the chance to meet him, because MR SOUL is returning, to your own home, but this time, in the winning documentary "MR. SOUL!"  A Film by MELISSA HAIZLIP that will be coming to theaters an cinemas across the nation though the virtual Cinema platform starting AUGUST 28, 2020.

"MR SOUL!" is right on time given the subject matter of the documentary based on ELLIS HAIZLIP, the name of the first Black American night time talk show host during the Civil Rights "BLACK POWER" movement from l968-l973.  His, is a true and rich story that will resonate with audiences across the nation and across generations. With the current state of our country, HAIZLIP's story, addressing racism, years ago on television, in a meaningful manner is very important now. It needed to be told, and it needs to be watch.


ELLIS, who was himself verbal, innovative, political and gay, was, as a television host, to utilized the television media to give a voice to many the many Black artists, who for years had been silenced, or ignored, in their personal fights for social equality.

"MR SOUL!" Was among the first national shows to provide and expand the images of African Americans on television, shifting their American prototype of being poor, uneducated and violent, by demonstrating their talent, and presenting a diverse group of African Americans to the audience as part of a new BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT.

Among his guests were: American Singer songwriter GLADYS KNIGHT, American Singer AL GREEN. The American band  EARTH WIND & FIRE, that has spanned the genres of R&B, soul funk. American singer, songwriter and musician STEVIE WONDER  and  historical interviews with boxer MUHAMMAD ALI,  and actors  SIDNEY POITIER, CICELY TYSON and writer and playwright JAMES BALDWIN ,  Poet and writer NIKKI GIOVA NNI,, Professor  KATHLEEN CLEAVER,  Civil Rights Activist STOKELY CARMICHAEL, singer HARRY BELAFONTE and others, including performers , American Poet writer and professor SONIA SANCHEZ,  Dancer, Choreographer teacher GEORGE FAISON,  The Last  Poets, as several groups of poets and musicians called themselves, and American dancer ALVIN AILEY to name a few, And by presenting Black guests in his show, MR. SOUL  captured the monumental movement in America, at the time when the whole nation was changing.

With participants' recollections and a bevy of great archival clips "MR. SOUL!" the documentary, captures a critical moment in our cultural nation's cultural rise whose impact continues to resonate and needs to be explored.


Written directed and produced by MELISSA HAIZLIP, with music composed by ROBERT GLASPER and narration by BLAIR UNDERWOOD, "MR SOUL!" premiered at TRIBECA in 2018 where audiences embraced the film and from where it went on to win a number of awards on the festival circuit.  The film has played in over 30 Film Festivals. The documentary 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, the AFI docs Audience Awards, and Woodstock Best Documentary to name a few.

"MR SOUL!"   will be  coming to theaters and cinemas across the nation through the virtual cinema platform Starting in August 28, 2020