EXCLUSIVE: The US distribution company Utopia acquired world rights excluding Great Britain to document the biopic Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché, which is narrated by Ruth Negga (Loving).
The Doc-Biopic, which will be resolved at the Glasgow Film Festival this week before its North American premiere on SXSW in March, tells the story of British punk artist Poly Styrene.
The film, co-written and co-governed by the singer’s daughter, Celeste Bell, shows the story of Marianne Joan Elliott-Said, known by her stage name Poly Styrene, who led the band X-Ray Spex in the 1970s and the first to become a woman of color at the top of a successful rock band in the UK.
The Anglo-Somali punk musician, who died of breast cancer in 2011, was an inspiration for the Riot Grrrl and Afropunk movements and was known for her songs about identity, consumerism and postmodernism.
Bell is directing with Paul Sng and narrating with Oscar nominee Negga. Featuring invisible footage and commentary from friends, family, fans and cultural critics, the film will accompany Celeste on her travels across three continents to explore her late mother’s artistic and cultural heritage and reconcile their strained relationship.
The film is distributed in the UK by Modern Films and will also air as a Sky Original documentary after the broadcaster made early investments.
“Poly Styrene pushes the boundaries of traditional punk documentation. It’s a portrait of a trailblazer, a look at the challenges of being one of the first women in color to lead a punk band, an exploration of mother-daughter relationships, and more. Poly is an icon whose story needs to be told and we are excited to premier the film in Women’s History Month, ”said Danielle DiGiacomo, Head of Content at Utopia.