Critically Acclaimed Documentary “Mr. SOUL!” Premieres August 1st on HBO Max


NEW YORK, July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Government Producers Chaz Ebert, document govt and movie producer Ron Gillyard, producer and director Stan Lathan, Hillman Grad Productions producing associate Rishi Rajani, Run&Shoot Filmworks CEO Stephanie T. Rance, actor and producer Blair Underwood and Emmy award-winning author, producer and Hillman Grad Productions CEO, Lena Waithe are proud to announce the critically acclaimed documentary Mr. SOUL! will premiere on HBO Max on August 1, 2021. The movie, produced and directed by Melissa Haizlip, received Finest First Documentary Function on the 2020 Critics Selection Documentary Awards, and Excellent Writing in a Documentary (Tv or Movement Image) on the 52nd NAACP Picture Awards. “Mr. SOUL!” was additionally shortlisted on the 93rd Academy Awards within the class of Finest Unique Music, for “Present Me Your Soul” by Grammy Award-winning composer Robert Glasper and Grammy Award-winning singer Lalah Hathaway. (Watch Trailer)

Earlier than Oprah, earlier than Arsenio, there was Mr. SOUL! From 1968 to 1973, the general public tv selection present, SOUL!, guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, provided an unfiltered and uncompromising celebration of music, politics, dance, Black literature, and poetry. SOUL! was the primary nationwide selection present to offer expanded photographs of African Individuals on tv, shifting the gaze from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Motion. With individuals’ recollections and myriad archival clips, Mr. SOUL! captures a essential second in our nation’s cultural rise, whose influence continues to resonate throughout generations and cultures.

Mr.SOUL! celebrates wealthy cultural moments with astonishing footage of interviews and  uncommon reside performances by  icons and luminaries comparable to: Al Inexperienced, Stevie Marvel, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Nikki Giovanni, James Baldwin, Cicely Tyson, Harry Belafonte, Muhammad Ali, The Final Poets, Earth, Wind & Hearth, Sidney Poitier, Mavis Staples, Black Ivory, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Maya Angelou, Billy Preston, Toni Morrison, Invoice Withers, Sonia Sanchez, Wilson Pickett, Kool & the Gang, Roberta Flack, Kathleen Cleaver, Amiri Baraka, Carmen de Lavallade, George Faison, Melba Moore, Max Roach,  and a 16-year-old Arsenio Corridor making his tv debut performing magic methods.

Mr. SOUL! made its world premiere on the TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL the place audiences embraced it with standing ovations and sold-out screenings. Mr. SOUL! acquired 33 nominations and received 21 awards together with 14 movie pageant awards. Mr. SOUL! screened at over 50 movie festivals all over the world, together with HOT DOCS, AFI Docs, BFI London, True/False, Martha’s Winery African American Movie Competition, Woodstock Movie Festival, Pan African Movie Competition, Urbanworld, Los Angeles Movie Competition and extra. Mr. SOUL!  was nominated for 3 NAACP Picture Awards, and received for Excellent Writing in a Documentary (Tv or Movement Image). In 2020, Mr. SOUL! was nominated for 5 Critics Selection Documentary Awards together with Finest Documentary Function, and received the award for Finest First Documentary Function. The movie received the Worldwide Documentary Affiliation IDA Doc Award for Finest Music Documentary, the Finalist Award for the Inaugural Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Movie, the Viewers Award at each AFI Docs and at Woodstock Movie Competition. Mr. SOUL! was nominated for a Cinema Eye Honors for Excellent Debut Function. The movie made its PBS premiere on Unbiased Lens throughout Black Historical past Month 2021.

“Making the movie helped us illuminate the groundbreaking cultural work of Ellis Haizlip, the person behind one of the profitable and socially important, Black-produced tv exhibits in U.S. historical past,” mentioned director Melissa Haizlip. “We’re actually grateful for the chance to each introduce and reintroduce the SOUL! sequence, the music, and Ellis Haizlip to the world. ‘SOUL!’ is the best present you’ve got by no means heard of. And up till now, my uncle Ellis Haizlip has been a little bit of an unsung hero. We’re past honored to have Mr. SOUL! premiere on HBO Max on August 1st. It is each thrilling and historic for our movie to be a part of such dynamic programming, a platform making a dedication to amplifying numerous tales and voices, a mandate which we want now, greater than ever. We hope our movie and the music, artists and creators it celebrates will assist to middle Black excellence and Black pleasure. It is so thrilling to see audiences discovering Ellis Haizlip as this hidden determine and unsung hero. Creating this love letter to Black tradition helps to raise the entire important contributions African Individuals and folks of colour have made to the tradition and to the nation.”

“After seeing Melissa’s doc, I knew I needed everybody to see it. This documentary showcases one among our Queer icons who by no means acquired his simply due. He put Black folks middle stage and did not care if it was an enormous success. He simply needed to depart an influence, and that he did,” says Lena Waithe.

The much-anticipated Mr. SOUL! soundtrack can be accessible on Hillman Grad Data / Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc. The primary single off the soundtrack can be “Present Me Your Soul,” carried out by Lalah Hathaway, and written by Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, Muhammad Ayers and Melissa Haizlip.

For extra data on Mr. SOUL!, please go to and @mrsoulthemovie on Instagram and Twitter.

About Melissa Haizlip

Melissa Haizlip is an award-winning filmmaker who has earned many accolades for her movies. “Mr. SOUL!” has acquired 32 nominations and received 19 awards, together with the Critics Selection Documentary Award for Finest First Function Documentary; the Finest Music Documentary on the IDA Doc Awards; the Finest Function Documentary on the Pan African Movie & Arts Competition; the Viewers Award for Finest Function at AFI DOCS Movie Competition in Washington, D.C.; the HBO Jury Award and Viewers Award on the Martha’s Winery African American Movie Competition; the Library of Congress Lavine / Ken Burns Prize for Movie Finalist Award; and the Viewers Award on the Woodstock Movie Competition. The movie made a splash on the BFI London Movie Competition and the Tribeca Movie Competition. It was additionally nominated for Excellent Achievement in a Debut Function Movie on the Cinema Eye Honors. She serves on the Board of Administrators of the Jacob Burns Movie Heart in Pleasantville, New York and is at the moment co-executive producing an authentic docu-series about Girls in Hip-Hop for Netflix.


Hillman Grad Productions is a improvement and manufacturing firm dedicated to creating artwork that goes towards the established order and offers alternative to marginalized peoples by offering a platform for numerous voices throughout all mediums. Based by Emmy Award-winning author, Lena Waithe, and Rishi Rajani, the corporate at the moment has tasks at Netflix, BET, Disney, Amazon, Common, Focus and MGM. Their movie slate contains the award-winning movies The Forty-12 months-Previous Model and Queen & Slim. They’re creating a Sammy Davis, Jr. biopic based mostly on his daughter Tracey Davis’ e book Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father, and the documentary movie concerning the Ogwumike sisters, with Joie Jacoby directing, which is able to inform the sisters’ inspiring story of excellence – exploring their triumph, struggles, and the household’s Nigerian roots alongside the best way. Hillman Grad Productions can even produce Being Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Documentary, with James Adolphus directing and releasing in 2022, marking the corporate’s first documentary undertaking from its inception. On the tv aspect, they produced The Chi, BET’s hit sequence Twenties, Them, and are in improvement on BET+ Delivery of Cool, Twenties the After Present hosted by B. Scott, and Neil Paik’s Six by Eight Press brief story Reawakening, for Amazon Studios. 

Moreover, Hillman Grad Productions is dedicated to opening the doorways for different proficient people who could not historically have entry to the leisure trade. Such initiatives embrace: The Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab, which gives alternatives for marginalized storytellers to attach, develop, and speed up their careers in tv and movie by customized instruction from trade professionals within the fields of tv writing, display screen performing, and govt improvement; the Rising Voices Initiative in partnership with Certainly, which allowed 10 BIPOC filmmakers to create brief movies with a manufacturing price range of $100,000 every; and the ‘Defining Moments’ initiative in partnership with ID, which is a paid coaching program led by ID’s workforce of consultants, designed to launch candidates into the sector with out requiring the trade connections or faculty expertise frequent to entry degree applications. Most lately, Hillman Grad Productions has partnered with Def Jam Recordings to announce the creation of Hillman Grad Data, a label that’s dedicated to figuring out and creating underrepresented artists and priming them for long run success within the music trade. 

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SOURCE Melissa Haizlip

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