#NewYork; #MrSoul; #MrSoulPremiere; #MelissaHaizlip; #AmandaSeales
New York, Aug 30 (Canadian-Media): Comedian/Actress/Producer Amanda Seales will guest host the upcoming Mr. SOUL! PREMIERE KICKBACK - a special online talkback celebrating the opening weekend of the award winning film - Mr. SOUL! - directed by Melissa Haizlip and the nation's March on Washington weekend, media reports said.
Image credit: Website
Presented by the distributors Shoes In The Bed Productions and Open Your Eyes & Think MF in Seales' online talk were legends: award-winning writer, poet and activist Nikki Giovanni; Grammy® winner and the film's composer Robert Glasper; actor and Executive Producer Blair Underwood; the iconic author, poet and professor Sonia Sanchez; legendary director/producer Stan Lathan (who also appears in the film); Filmmaker Melissa Haizlip; and the R&B group Black Ivory.
The award winning "Mr. Soul! - a film by Melissa Haizlip" opened on August 28th in 60+ virtual cinemas and drive-ins across the United States of America, was watched by people from New York to Los Angeles to Cleveland to San Francisco to Miami to Seattle to Houston to Indianapolis to Alaska and Hawaii and more cities in their own at-home cinema or the drive-in.
The film is a tribute to America's first "Black Tonight Show" that aired directly from New York on public broadcasting from 1968-1973 at the height of the Black Power Movement and the Civil Rights Movement.
Hosted by Ellis Haizlip aka Mr. SOUL, hip, smart, innovative, political and gay, reveals his personal fight for social equality and ensured that the revolution would be televised. And that Revolution was his TV show SOUL! - an incredibly unique weekly television show that aired on public television from 1968 - 1973 celebrating Black American culture, art, life, love and community, which he shared with households across the nation in their living rooms every week.
"Our Mr. SOUL! PREMIERE KICKBACK will be just like a re-creation of the SOUL! show for a new audience, with these amazing guests in conversation with Amanda Seales. Amanda will moderate a conversation with both artists from the film and the original series, to talk about the cultural impact of SOUL! and its special guests, like James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni, and the legacy of Ellis Haizlip and SOUL! for a millennial audience," says the film's director Melissa Haizlip. "Every week on SOUL!, Ellis featured our nation's cultural icons in front of and behind the camera, who then went on to become important cultural and artistic leaders in America. With the current ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, and as our nation is on the eve of a great racial reckoning, Ellis' mission, his show and the artists he gave a platform to have become even more important now. That inspiration and that courage during that time period is a road map for our young leaders and the movement today. I am so looking forward to this kickback with these artists and leaders."
World premiered at TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL where audiences embraced Mr. SOUL! and it went on to win a number of awards on the festival circuit playing over 30 film festivals, including HOT DOCS, AFI Docs, BFI London, Woodstock Film Fest, Pan African Film Festival, Urbanworld, Los Angeles Film Festival and more.
The film has won over 17 awards including the International Documentary Association (IDA) Best Music Documentary; the Finalist Award for the Inaugural Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize For Film; AFI Docs Audience Award; Woodstock Best Documentary; and many more.
Featuring rare live performances and interviews from the legendary Al Green, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson, James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, The Last Poets, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Ashford & Simpson, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, Billy Preston, Black Ivory, The Delfonics, Bill Withers, Sonia Sanchez, Wilson Pickett, Odetta, Merry Clayton, Mandrill, Kool & the Gang, Toni Morrison, Kathleen Cleaver, Betty Shabazz, Stokely Carmichael, Mrs. Georgia Jackson, George Faison, Patti LaBelle, Roberta Flack, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and many more, SOUL! was the first national show to provide expanded images of African Americans on television, shifting the gaze from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. With participants’ recollections and a bevy of great rarely seen archival clips, Mr. SOUL! captures that critical moment in our nation’s cultural rise, and whose impact continues to resonate across generations and cultures.
Directed, written and produced by Melissa Haizlip, Mr. SOUL! features music composed and performed by Grammy® winning musician/composer Robert Glasper, with the voice of Ellis Haizlip by Grammy® / Emmy® winner Blair Underwood - one of the film’s Executive Producers. The virtual cinema release run is presented together by Shoes In The Bed Productions and Open Your Eyes & Think MF.