Here to Be Heard: The Story of the Slits
Director William E Badgley’s (Kill All Redneck Pricks) new documentary film on the first all-girl Punk band, The Slits, World Premiere was at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017 and the international premiere was in February of 2018 at The International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Here to be Heard: The Story of the Slits tells the story of the young women pioneers of the mid-70’s Punk era from a female point of view. Contemporaries of The Clash and Sex Pistols and the pioneering godmothers of the musical movement known as "Punky Reggae", it runs from the bands’ inception in 1976 to its’ end in 2010 coinciding with the death of lead vocalist, Ari Up.
Film includes interviews with Don Letts (former Slits manager / Punk documentarian), Viv Albertine (Slits guitarist), Ari Up (Slits vocalist), Palmolive (Slits founder / first drummer), Tessa Pollitt (Slits bass player), Bruce Smith (Slits second / PIL drummer), Hollie Cook (Slits vocalist / keyboards / percussion), Vivien Goldman (NYU's Punk professor), Dennis Bovell (producer of The Slits album CUT), Paul Cook (Sex Pistols drummer), Gina Birch (Raincoats bass player), Adrien Sherwood (producer / long-time friend and collaborator of the band) and many more, as well as previously unseen footage and recordings of the band.
Here to be Heard: The Story of the Slits is produced by Badgley through his Molasses Manifesto Company and Mark Vennis of Moviehouse Entertainment, the latter of whom will handle worldwide sales. Funding for the film comes from private sources including financier Phil Hunt’s Headgear Films who take EP credits.
UK’s Pledge Music have signed up to work with the producers to bring Here to be Heard: The Story of the Slits direct to the band’s loyal and, in many cases, long-time followers. Here to be Heard: The Story of the Slits is the first film project Pledge have worked on.
Bill said: “It’s been an honour to be part of the telling of this crucially important and untold story about the Slits, and I am very excited that we’ll be able to begin our journey in sharing it with the world at the 2017 London Film Festival”. Vennis said “Bill came to me with the project and I jumped at the chance to work with him on a doc about some of the most ground-breaking musicians from the Punk era. We are thrilled the film will world premiere in its home town at the BFI London Film Festival. In addition, we will be working with Pledge Music in what is going to be a new straight-to-consumer distribution strategy, to give the fans an opportunity to pre-buy the film.”
Ex Stains, formed in early 2014, is a Los Angeles quintet comprised of stalwart members of the punk and indie underground. Lead vocalist Allison Wolfe was part of first generation riot grrrl bands Bratmobile and Cold Cold Hearts, both on the underground label Kill Rock Stars. Lead vocalist Mecca Vazie Andrews is a well- known choreographer and the artistic director of “The MOVEMENT movement” and has worked with artists such as Daft Punk, Toro y Moi, Marina Abramović, and Liz Glynn. On drums is David Orlando, who played in Warpaint and is a resident DJ for L.A. clubs Dub Club and Punky Reggae Party. Guitarist Sharif Dumani played with Atlanta soul man Cody Chesnutt and his Headphone Masterpiece band. Puerto Rico transplant Pachy Garcia (Prettiest Eyes) rounds out the sound on bass guitar. Pulling from late 70’s and early 80’s post-punk, Sex Stains’ music alters between thought-provoking punk, infectious dance rhythms, angular guitar sounds and cacophony. Sex Stains play regularly throughout California, having graced Burger-a-Go-Go and Echo Park Rising festivals, as well as sharing bills with the lovely likes of the Pop Group, the Julie Ruin, Shannon & the Clams, the Coathangers, Chain & the Gang, Kim & the Created, and Alice Bag. The band just finished mixing its debut album at Station House Studio.