NET’s Next Virtual Indie Lens Pop-Up Screening Features ‘Mr. SOUL!’

News Release Date: 
January 26, 2021

For Immediate Release

NET’s Next Virtual Indie Lens Pop-Up Screening Features ‘Mr. SOUL!’

LINCOLN, Neb. (Jan. 26, 2021) – A free online film screening and live discussion at 7 p.m. CT, Tuesday, Feb. 9, presents “Mr. SOUL!,” a groundbreaking story of the PBS series that celebrates the Black Arts Movement.

The virtual event is part of the Indie Lens Pop-Up series presented by ITVS, “Independent Lens” and NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations.“SOUL!”

To register for this free online event, visit

Join filmmaker Melissa Haizlip as she brings viewers to a critical movement in history and culture whose impact continues to resonate today.

The public television variety show “SOUL!” offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music and politics -- voices that had few other options for national television exposure. Guided by enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, the series was among the first to provide expanded images of Black Americans on television and recognize the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement.

“Mr. SOUL!” celebrates the groundbreaking PBS series against the backdrop of a swiftly changing political and social landscape, while also profiling Haizlip, the charismatic man behind one of the most culturally significant and successful TV shows in U.S. history.Melissa Haizlip

After the virtual screening, a panel discussion will feature the film’s producer/director, Melissa Haizlip; Jade Rogers, adjunct professor at Metropolitan Community College, Iowa Western Community College and University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of the House of Afros, Capes & Curls; Denise Chapman, producing artistic director for theatre at Omaha's Union for Contemporary Art and Deborah Bunting, arts consultant and Omaha Community Foundation board member.

Panelists will discuss the politics of representation, arts as activism and the rich history of public media. Indie Lens Pop-Up and NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations, aim to spark enlightening conversations that shed light on these issues.

“Mr. SOUL!” premieres on the PBS Video App and Monday, Feb. 22, at 9 p.m. CT.


Other films in the 2021 virtual season lineup of Indie-Lens Pop-Up include:

March 25, 7 p.m. CT, “Coded Bias,” by Shalini Kantayya. When MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms that shapes the technology in our lives.

April, TBA, “Philly D.A.” by Ted Passon and Yoni Brook. A groundbreaking documentary series embedded inside the long shot election and tumultuous first term of Larry Krasner, Philadelphia's unapologetic district attorney, and his experiment to upend the criminal justice system from the inside out.

May, TBA, “The Donut King,” by Alice Gu. “The Donut King” tells the story of a Cambodian refugee who escaped genocide and overcame poverty to build a life for himself–and hundreds of other immigrant families–by baking America’s favorite pastry and building an unlikely multimillion-dollar empire of donut shops.

Visit for the latest information on upcoming film screening dates and times.

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a free neighborhood series that brings people together for virtual films screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on PBS’s “Independent Lens,” Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders and organizations to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics and social issues, to family and community relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation online.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:  Sandi Karstens, 402-470-6578,

Tanya Leverault, ITVS, 415-356-8383,

NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations, is the statewide public media service dedicated to creating opportunities for Nebraskans to engage with critical issues, compelling stories and quality entertainment. NET serves each of Nebraska’s 93 counties with 52,560 hours of programming each year on four television and two radio channels, plus online and mobile content. In addition to providing free, high-quality educational programming for children, NET provides programming in the arts, award-winning news and current affairs information and emergency alert services. For more information about NET, visit