Mr. SOUL movie still

Get a sneak peek of the new film Mr. SOUL! prior to its broadcast premiere—then continue the conversation locally.

Front Range Community College is hosting a public screening of the new documentary film Mr. SOUL! from Emmy Award-winning Independent Lens. Watch the movie, then join us for a live virtual discussion with Colorado experts. The virtual events are free and open to the public.

What: FREE virtual screening of

Mr. Soul!

When: Thursday, February 18 at 11:00 am


From 1968 into 1973, the PBS variety show SOUL!, guided by enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics—voices that had few other options for national exposure and, as a result, found in the program a place to call home. The series was among the first 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.

Trailer for Mr. SOUL!

Through participants’ recollections and illuminating archival clips, Mr. SOUL! by Melissa Haizlip “captures a critical moment in culture whose impact continues to resonate and celebrates an unsung hero whose voice we need now more than ever, to restore the soul of a nation.”


If you enjoy the film—and/or it leaves you with burning questions you’d like to discuss—please join us directly afterward for a special live conversation with local experts:

  • Florence Ayers—executive director of the Colorado Black Arts Festival. Ayres has spent more than three decades creating and producing the festival, which now stands as an annual opportunity for thousands to gather and enjoy the talent of Black visual and performing artists. The event’s mission is to involve the whole community in helping establish self-reliance, based on the belief that pride in one’s culture is the foundation for long- term stability and prosperity. The festival strives to develop, promote and celebrate African arts and culture in Colorado. Ayers was asked to join the organization by its founders, her brothers M. Perry Ayers and Oyedele Oginga.
  • M. Perry Ayers—artistic director (and one of the founders) of the Colorado Black Arts Festival. In 1986 Ayers helped create the organization to provide the many outstanding Black artists a venue to perform and show their work. He wanted kids to see Black artists at work and understand the value they bring to the world. Now tens of thousands of people converge every year to experience a celebration of Black arts and culture, participate in hands-on arts activities, purchase art, and enjoy the foods of the amazing chefs in our community.
  • donnie l. betts (lowercase intentional)—founding member of two theatre companies in Denver: City Stage Ensemble and Denver Black Arts Company. He attended Yale School of Drama, and his theater work includes both performing and directing. betts has numerous credits in film, radio and TV, including an Emmy for “My Voice,” a film on spoken word artist/actor Jeff Campbell. His purpose as a director/producer is to create work that has an impact on the audience—and to move their hearts so that they see the productions as a call to action. He deals with subjects like HIV/AIDS, domestic and sexual violence, age and race bias, slavery, health care and housing bias.

What: Live Zoom Panel Discussion of the film

When: Thursday, February 18 at noon:

Link to Participate:

Passcode: IndieLens

FILM THEMES/DISCUSSION TOPICS: Black literature, culture, poetry, music, politics, art and performing arts, the Black Arts Movement.



Contact: or

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About Indie Lens Pop-Up

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on PBS’s Independent Lens, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders and organizations together to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics, to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation. For more information, visit

About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS Monday nights at 10:00 PM. The acclaimed series, with Lois Vossen as executive producer, features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by ITVS, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more visit Join the conversation: and on Twitter @IndependentLens.

About Front Range Community College

FRCC offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, Brighton, and online. FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System.

About the Colorado Community College System

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving 138,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities.

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