DEBUT FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHÉ

Celeste's debut feature documentary co-directed alongside Paul Sng was released in 2021 in the UK and 2022 in the US, winning two BIFA awards and nominated for both the BAFTA Scotland and Grierson documentary awards. Celeste was nominated for the Douglas Hickox Award for Debut Directorin 2021.


The death of punk icon and X-Ray Spex frontwoman Poly Styrene sends her daughter, co-director and writer Celeste Bell,  on a journey across the world and through her mother’s archives to reconcile their fraught relationship in this new documentary feature.


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SCREENPLAY

Celeste cowrote the screenplay for Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché alongside Zoë Howe, who also co-authored the companion book, DayGlo. The screenplay process included interviewing documentary participants and writing Celeste's own narration. A copy of the script was donated to the (Oscars) Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills. 

 

ARCHIVE RESEARCH

Celeste worked alongside editor Xanna Ward-Dixon as archive researcher, searching for and securing appropriate vintage archive footage obtained from Archives such as Getty Images and Kino Library.

 

MUSIC SUPERVISION

Apart from overseeing the original score alongside co-director Paul Sng, editor Xanna War-Dixon and composer Marina Elderton, Celeste was Music Supervisor on the project. Her role included selecting previously recorded music and liaising with record and publishing contracts to secure licenses to use the music in film. Celeste also created cue sheets to ensure credits were appropriately assigned and was responsible for the delivery of the music in an acceptable format.

 

MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT

Celeste was directly involved in marketing the film to both funders and audiences from the start of the project; creating pitch-decks, scheduling and creating social media posts during and after the initial crowdfunding campaign and working alongside PR experts to promote the film in the press post-production.

 

CROWDFUNDING

Working alongside Paul Sng and Zoë Howe, Celeste launched a successful crowdfunding campaign with IndieGogo in 2017 and Patreon in 2019, raising over £70,000 to fund the initial film production.