The traditional definition of ‘piracy’ refers to robbery or other criminal acts committed by private parties at sea. In modern history, the term also became attributed to radio senders who contravened the monopoly on the airwaves. Since the early 1960s, the number of radio stations and individuals broadcasting illegally in the U.K. has grown exponentially.

Drowned City is a documentary film about the people who devote themselves to pirate radio in London. The film takes a journey with today’s youth who spend their days and nights transmitting from tower blocks and warehouses; with nostalgic, experienced ex-pirates who have lost their battles with Ofcom and paid the price; and with mainstream stars who owe their fame and fortune today to their early start in pirate radio. Through unprecedented access to the secret lives of pirates, we are offered the opportunity to ask why these individuals take such enormous risks for illegal broadcasting. The stories told by key characters provide insight into the poignant affect pirate radio has had on their lives.

Whether seen as an alternative to a life of serious crime, an opportunity to express themselves, or the thrill of the chase from the authorities, pirate radio culture in London has had a profound impact on the characters explored in Drowned City.

Directed by Faith Millin
Produced by Andrea Gelardin
Executive Producers Marcus Werner Hed & Jeremy Valender
Director of Photography Jeremy Valender
Cinematography Hopi Allard
Editor Jonathan Stenton
Music Supervisors Alex Clapworthy & Matt Chlebek at Pictures Music

Additional Camera Chris Read & Sam McFadden
Production Manager Jenny Rush
Post-Production Assistant Charli Davis
1st Assistant Editor Somayeh Jafari
2nd Assistant Editor Emma Charles
Additional Editors Hopi Allard & Jesse Watt
Trailer Editor Carly Baker
Colourist Chris Teeder
Online Editor Carolina Aguirre
Sound Re-Recording Studio Soundnode
Title Design Dave Lane & Robert Boon at Inventory Studio
VFX Mark Knapton at Brewery VFX
Press Assistant Karis Beckingham
Accountant Supervisor Mario Inchenko
Camera Equipment Pundersons Gardens & Focus 24
Legal Advisors Gateley

As themselves

Sam ‘Supplier’ Millin
Lauren Mason
Fonti and Bushkin