09 Feb 2019


Polygram Entertainment, the film and television division of Universal Music Group, today announced a feature documentary about the iconic, groundbreaking band, The Go-Go’s. SHOWTIME has acquired the US rights and plans to release the film later this year, while Sky Arts is the UK broadcast partner – both deals were brokered by leading global distributor Kew Media Distribution, which has worldwide sales rights to The Go-Go’s.  Alison Ellwood (History of The Eagles, American Jihad) directs the film and Corey Russell and Trevor Birney produce. Polygram Entertainment’s David Blackman and Daniel Inkeles will serve as executive producers; the creative team also includes editor Brett Banks and co-producer Eimhear O’Neill. The Go-Go’s is fully financed by Polygram Entertainment and presented and produced by Polygram, Universal Music Publishing Group, Fine Point Films and Fadoo Productions.

As the first multi-platinum-selling, all-female band to play their own instruments, write their own songs and have a #1 album, The Go-Go’s are the most successful female rock band of all time. Rooted in the LA punk scene, Charlotte Caffey (lead guitar, keyboards and vocals), Belinda Carlisle (lead vocals), Gina Schock (drums), Kathy Valentine (bass and vocals) and Jane Wiedlin (guitar & vocals) didn’t PLAY the part of bad girls; they were genuine punk rockers.

The Go-Go’s rose to fame following the release of their 1981 debut album, “Beauty and the Beat,” a collection of infectious tracks with huge hooks. Locked at #1 on the Billboard charts for six consecutive weeks, “Beauty and the Beat” was one of the most successful debut albums of all time, featuring the hits “Our Lips Are Sealed” (one of Rolling Stone’s ‘Top 100 Pop Singles’) and “We Got the Beat” and resulted in a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. The Go-Go’s became a pop phenomenon, had a lot of fun and blazed brand-new trails -- for the DIY ethic in general, and women in music in particular. Their meteoric ascent, however, was marred by band tension and drugs, fueled in part by their rapid rise to fame.

Underpinned by full access to The Go-Go’s, both past and present, this candid archive-rich biography assesses the group’s place in pop history and examines the personalities and dynamics behind their rise, fall and numerous reincarnations. Until this film, there has never been a serious appraisal of The Go-Go’s talents or achievements – as musicians, groundbreakers, but even more so, as survivors.

“We lived it and we survived it,” state The Go-Go’s. “Now, looking back on our history through this film, we can appreciate our journey, laughter, triumphs and struggles as a band. We hope this documentary will show the world what pioneers we were, and how our experience paved the way for other musicians.”

“I’ve always been a huge Go-Go’s fan,” adds Alison Ellwood. “When the band asked me to direct this film, I was thrilled. Like a lot of people, I thought of them as this wonderful, bubbly, all-girl pop band from LA. What I’ve discovered is a much more complex and deeper truth.”

“More than ever, this is the perfect time to celebrate the many barriers shattered by The Go-Go’s,” said David Blackman, Universal Music Group’s head of Film & Television Development and Production. “Their attitude, deceptively smart lyrics and pop rock hooks sound fresher than ever. We’re excited to partner with Alison Ellwood and the entire team to bring THE GO-GO’S story to the screen.”


Alison Ellwood’s feature film directing credits include American Jihad, History of the Eagles, Parts 1&2, Spring Broke and Magic Trip:  Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place. Her television directing credits include CNN’s Death Row Stories, Locked In for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, No Limits for ESPN’s Nine for IX series, The Human Behavior Experiments, the Emmy Award-winning series American High, The Travelers and Sixteen. She has produced and edited several feature documentary films including Oscar-nominated Enron:  The Smartest Guys in the Room, Catching Hell, Gonzo:  The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, My Trip to Al Qaeda, and Casino Jack and the United States of Money. She was co-producer for the feature documentary Finding Fela and HBO’s Brett Killed Mom:  A Sister’s Diary. Ellwood was consulting producer for the Sundance series Brick City and two feature films The September Issue and Food Chains. She was supervising producer for The Residents and 30 Days. Ellwood has edited for Bill Moyers Specials, the Discovery Channel, Sundance Channel, Showtime and HBO’s America Undercover series.



Fine Point Films is helmed by award-winning producer/director and journalist Trevor Birney, who specializes in producing high-end documentaries for international distribution. Fine Point’s most recent film Gaza premiered at Sundance in 2019 and competed in the World Cinema Documentary competition. Fine Point’s extensive production slate includes: WGA-nominated No Stone Unturned directed by Academy Award-winning Alex Gibney, Emmy-nominated Elián directed by Ross McDonnell and Tim Golden for CNN Films, Bobby Sands: 66 Days directed by Brendan J. Byrne which broke Irish box office records, Netflix Originals Mercury 13 directed by Heather Walsh and David Sington, George Best: All By Himself directed by Daniel Gordon for ESPN and BBC and HBO’s Emmy-winning Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God directed by Alex Gibney. In 2019, Fine Point will release Wave Goodbye to Dinosuars directed by Eimhear O’Neill in collaboration with Fork Films for PBS series Women, War and Peace as well as An Engineer Imagines, directed by BAFTA-winning Marcus Robinson.



Founded in 2012 by award-winning producer Corey Russell, Toronto-based Fadoo Productions has a history of music and sports feature documentaries and series. Recent credits include the critically acclaimed documentary Rush:Time Stand Still, about legendary rock band Rush. Narrated by Paul Rudd, the film tells the story of the band’s final tour. They also produced a companion concert film, R40 Live which debuted at number one on the Billboard DVD chart. Other productions include, Names on the Cup, a feature documentary about the history of the Stanley Cup, narrated by Kiefer Sutherland. In 2019, they will also release the Life and Death of Patient Zero, about the true story of the AIDS crisis in America directed by Laurie Lynd.



Polygram Entertainment produces film and television programs that provide deeper narratives and perspectives on the recording artists, music and cultural events that came to define generations. A partner of Universal Music Group, the world leader in music-based entertainment, Polygram develops, produces, finances and distributes documentary features and original, scripted projects for music fans of all ages and tastes around the world.  Polygram’s upcoming projects include the documentary Pavarotti, directed by Ron Howard and released in theaters this summer by CBS Films, Hitsville: The Making of Motown, a documentary featuring never-before-seen footage from Berry Gordy’s private archives, and documentary features about the Velvet Underground from director Todd Haynes and Harlem’s Apollo Theater, from director Roger Ross Williams. Polygram co-distributed, with Studio Canal, the Howard-directed documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, a behind-the-scenes look at the legendary band’s early years.



Kew Media Distribution, part of Kew Media Group, produces and acquires more than 1,000 hours of new multi-genre content every year and distributes a diverse catalogue of film, television and digital assets to broadcasters and viewing platforms across the world. Kew Media Distribution manages international rights to a library of over 10,000 hours of TV and digital content, including major drama series, non-fiction entertainment, special event programming, kids’ series, TV movies and mini-series.



Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL and FLIX®, and also offers SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND and FLIX ON DEMAND®, and the network's authentication service SHOWTIME ANYTIME®. Showtime Digital Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SNI, operates the stand-alone streaming service SHOWTIME®. SHOWTIME is currently available to subscribers via cable, DBS, and telco providers, and as a stand-alone streaming service through Amazon, Apple®, Google, LG Smart TVs, Oculus Go, Roku®, Samsung Smart TVs and Xbox One. Consumers can also subscribe to SHOWTIME via Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, DirecTV Now, FuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV. Viewers can also watch on computers at SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel, and offers Smithsonian Earththrough SN Digital LLC. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV. For more information, go to


Sky Arts is the UK’s only dedicated channel for the arts. It offers something for everyone, whatever their passion, with entertaining programs showcasing the best of classical and popular music, theatre, opera, dance and the visual arts, as well as original drama and comedy. Sky Arts is broadcast 24 hours a day and has over 1,000 hours available on catch-up TV, including flagship programs such as Portrait Artist of The Year, Landscape Artist of the Year and The South Bank Show. The channel is committed to supporting the arts by investing in the best talent, both on and off screen, as well as through exclusive partnerships with major UK and European cultural institutions, including National Theatre Live, Tate and The British Library.



Universal Music Group and Polygram Entertainment contact:

Annie Imamura


Office: 310.865.6157


Main Stage Public Relations

Craig Bankey


Office:  310.867.0881


Kevin McLaughlin


Office:  347.614.6904