Delia Derbyshire film to premiere at BFI London Film Festival

Delia Derbyshire
(Image credit: Delia Derbyshire)

Actress and prog fan Carline Catz (who featured in My Record Collection in Prog 106) will have her film about electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire will premiere at this year's BFI London Film Festival.

Catz’s directorial debut feature-length film, Delia Derbyshire: The Myths & The Legendary Tapes is a conceptual and atmospheric journey into the legacy and character of electronic music composer/sound pioneer Delia Derbyshire, who, in 1963 conceived one of the most familiar compositions in science fiction, the Doctor Who theme, while working at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop.

“The journey of working on this film and developing it over the years has really focused my thinking about how I wanted to tell Delia’s story,” explains Catz. “Rather than make a simply linear biopic, I wanted to probe themes that seemed to be present in Delia’s life, and Delia’s poetic collages of atmospheric soundscapes appear to be intriguing expressions of her inner life. The resulting film is a portrait of Delia filtered through a mix of observation and imagination, with the premise that no single perspective would be sufficient to gain a true understanding of her, replacing the rigidity of a biopic style with something more mysterious and lyrical.”

Catz and producer Andy Starke (Kill List, A Field In England) have been developing this film together since 2014. Delia Derbyshire: The Myths & The Legendary Tapes is a life story told through sound. Delia’s own musical creations are featured alongside a soundtrack by musician/performance artist Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey, Carter Tutti Void), constructed from samples chosen by Cosey and Catz from Delia’s posthumously discovered “Attic Tapes”.

Delia Derbyshire: The Myths & The Legendary Tapes will be available soon on BFI Player as part of the BFI London Film Festival 2020 and will screen from 6.30pm on October 15 to 6.30pm October 18.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.