High Falls Women in Film series



Doors at 7:00pm
Little Theatre 1 (240 East Ave.)

Standard ticket prices
Tickets available online in advance, or at the door.


Poly Styrene was the first woman of colour in the UK to front a successful rock band. She introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain, with a rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk
musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements.

But the late punk maverick didn’t just leave behind an immense cultural footprint. She was survived by a daughter, Celeste Bell, who became the unwitting guardian of her mother’s legacy and her mother’s demons. Misogyny, racism, and mental illness plagued Poly’s life, while their lasting trauma scarred Celeste’s childhood and the pair’s relationship.

Featuring unseen archive material and rare diary entries narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga, this documentary follows Celeste as she examines her mother’s unopened artistic archive and traverses three continents to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother.

96 mins  |  Documentary / Music / Biography  |  2021 | UK | English

Directed by Celeste Bell and Paul Sng


The High Falls Women in Film Series focuses on storytelling from a women’s perspective, with independent and international films, mixing emerging and established female talent behind, and in front of, the lens.

The series is a continuation and celebrates the legacy of the High Falls Women’s Film Festival which, for more than 20 years, celebrated the artistry and innovation of women behind the camera, in leading roles on screen, and at the heart of storylines. See the High Falls series page for more information


Julia Figueras (she/her), moderator – Rochester native Julia Figueras has worked in radio for over 4 decades in formats ranging from punk to jazz to classical, with a little talk thrown in. She is the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI Classical, and the producer and host for the award-winning interview/performance show, Backstage Pass.
Jesse Amesmith (they/she), panelist – Jesse Amesmith is a musician, artist, yoga teacher & parent from Rochester, NY. Jesse’s practices evolved through a trauma informed lens; whether it’s music, art or movement they hope to provide space & inspiration for other people to explore their own process & heal. 

Zahyia Rolle (she/her), panelist –
Zahyia, a songwriter, lyricist, producer and creative visionary, has dedicated her life to existing in spaces that elevate and change the limited narratives, images, and awareness of what it means to exist as a Black American Woman. With her eclectic background of Jazz, Hip-Hop, R&B, Lo-fi Hip-hop, Music Theater, Funk and Soul, Zahyia finds ways to push traditional boundaries in the world of music and Alternative R&B.