EXCLUSIVE: U.S. sales firm Utopia has picked up world rights excluding the UK to doc biopic Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché, narrated by Ruth Negga (Loving).
The doc biopic, which will unspool at the Glasgow Film Festival this week ahead of its North American premiere at SXSW in March, charts the story of British punk artist Poly Styrene.
Co-written and co-directed by the singer’s daughter, Celeste Bell, the film will chart the story of Marianne Joan Elliott-Said, known by her stage name Poly Styrene, who fronted band X-Ray Spex in the 70s, becoming the first woman of color to front a successful rock band in the UK.
The Anglo-Somali punk musician, who passed away from 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 directs with Paul Sng and narrates with Oscar-nominee Negga. The film will include unseen footage and commentary from friends, family, fans and cultural critics and follow Celeste as she journeys across three continents to explore the artistic and cultural legacy of her late mother and reconcile their fraught relationship.
The film is being distributed by Modern Films in the UK and is also airing as a Sky Original documentary after getting early investment from the broadcaster.
“Poly Styrene breaks the boundaries of the conventional punk documentary. It’s a portrait of a trailblazer, a look at the challenges of being one of the first women of color to front a punk band, an exploration of mother-daughter relationships, and so much more. Poly is an icon whose story needed telling, and we are delighted to be premiering the film during women’s history month,” said Danielle DiGiacomo, Head of Content for Utopia.