Lisa Rovner

France, United Kingdom , 2020 / 85 min / English OV with English subt. / Documentary

Collaboration Rotondes

The remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers who embraced machines to transform how we produce and listen to music today.

At the time when computers with a calculator’s processing power were still the size of a caravan, and electronic music hardly counted as art, visionary women were already creating the sounds of the future with tape reels, scissors and sticky tape as their instruments. When electronic music was finally recognised, the women who had been integral in inventing the devices, techniques and tropes that would define the sound for years to come were all but forgotten. Sisters with Transistors sets out to rectify this imbalance. With both style and substance, and through a gold mine of rare clips of buzzing synthesisers and wild artistic creativity, Lisa Rovner presents the story of electronica’s female pioneers for the first time.

The energy, curiosity and enthusiasm for the medium is not just present in the sounds and the music, but in every image of this stylish and uncompromising film about the liberating potential of art. Sisters with Transistors reveals a unique emancipation struggle, restoring the central role of women in the history of music and society at large.

Free entry, subject to availability.


Sat 06/03 19:30 Rotondes EN OV with EN subt. - free screening Public

“It’s synthesiser galore in Lisa Rovner’s proper hit of a documentary, awarded a NEXT:WAVE Special Mention at CPH:DOX […] Lisa Rovner’s entertaining Sisters with Transistors does what every good documentary […] always should: it takes a previously little-known story and proves that the world really needed to hear it. […] It’s hard to shake the sense of injustice upon discovering these female masterminds who, once the world finally caught up with their crazy creations, were way too often just tossed to one side.” Marta Bałaga, Cineuropa, 30/03/2020

Sisters with Transistors […] stops you in your tracks and makes you look at things you thought you knew about through fresh eyes. And that can never be a bad thing.” Jane Fae, Eye for Film, 17/06/2020

  • Special Mention – NEXT:WAVE:, CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, 2020 (Denmark)
Cast & Credits
Laurie Anderson, Clara Rockmore, Daphne Oram, Bebe Barron, Pauline Oliveros, Delia Derbyshire, Maryanne Amacher, Eliane Radigue, Suzanne Ciani, Laurie Spiegel
Lisa Rovner
David Crane, Johan Winstedt
Anna Lena Films
Willow Glen Films
Aspect Ratio Films

Lisa Rovner is a French American artist and filmmaker based in London. Her films spring from her fascination with archives and her underlying aspiration to transform politics and philosophy into cinematographic spectacle. Rovner has collaborated with some of the world’s most respected artists and brands including Pierre Huyghe, Liam Gillick, Sebastien Tellier, Maison Martin Margiela and Acne. Her films have been presented internationally in art venues and theatres. Currently, she is developing an episodic comedy about the art world, as well as a television series about revolutionary architecture. Sisters with Transistors (2020) is her first feature documentary.

  • 2020 – Sisters with Transistors (documentary )
  • 2013 – Constellations (short)