Two images of Melissa Haizlip. One is a professional headshot, the other is her holding an award
Melissa at the 2018 Indie Memphis Film Festival (right)

A Q&A with Director Melissa Haizlip

Age: Pleading the 5th here! 😇

Basic bio: Melissa Haizlip is an award-winning filmmaker from New York. Her latest film, Mr. SOUL! , won the 2020 Critics Choice Documentary Award for Best First Feature and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture).

Beyond the bio: I’m starting to realize the incredible urgency around getting dreams done, and how essential it is (though harder than ever these days) to find and maintain the delicate balance between work life and home life, especially while working from home / living from work. The answer is always yes, then figuring out how to make it happen. Always leading with love and kindness — definitely an exploration of soul work. It’s all of a piece; turns out life is still a work in progress.

What makes you a grown-ass lady? Knowing I am living my truth without any apologies for who I am.

1. On the nightstand: Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound by Daphne A. Brooks.

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Uplifting and amplifying the voices of Black women and people of color.

3. Jam of the minute: “Show Me Your Soul” by Robert Glasper & Lalah Hathaway.

4. Thing I miss: A slice of Joe’s Pizza.

5. ‘80s crush: Prince.

6. Current crush: Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter.

7. Latest fave find: Rewriting History, a collection of breathtakingly beautiful works of art by Fabiola Jean-Louis. Also Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract with Madagascar vanilla beans, and the Pileated Woodpecker

8. Last thing you lost: A chance to advance from the shortlist to the Oscar nomination for Best Original Song (but we had a great run!).

9. Best thing that happened recently: The Easter Sunday Verzuz Battle featuring Earth, Wind & Fire vs The Isley Brothers was the highest ninja level possible.

10. Looking forward to: More Saturdays full of homemade fresh blueberry pancakes. Also: Writing my first book and landing a record deal for the Mr. SOUL! soundtrack.

Tell Us in the Comments

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.