Melissa Haizlip

Director/Producer, Mr. Soul!

Melissa Haizlip is a filmmaker born in Boston and raised in the US Virgin Islands, Connecticut and New York. She is a Chaz and Roger Ebert Producing Fellow, and an alumna of Film Independent’s Project Involve, Firelight Media Documentary Lab and the PGA Diversity Workshop. Melissa attended Yale University. She produced You’re Dead to Me (2013) directed by Wu Tsang, about a grieving Chicana mother coming to terms with the loss of her transgender child on Día de los Muertos. The film won five Best Short awards, including the 2014 Imagen Award, and screened at over 50 festivals and museums, including the PBS Online Film Festival, the British Museum, Outfest, Frameline38, Palm Springs International ShortFest and the NYWIFT Women Calling the Shots program at Hamptons International Film Festival. Her feature documentary Mr. SOUL! (2018) premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and was awarded the 2018 International Documentary Association award for Best Music Documentary, played over 40 film festivals and won 13 additional awards. Melissa has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Pare Lorentz Grant, Black Public Media, Firelight Media, and ITVS. Her new film Contact High: A Visual History of Hip Hop premieres this week in Los Angeles at the Annenberg Space for Photography.