She is the Manic Street Preachers fan who lived the ultimate dream. More than a decade ago American movie maker Elizabeth Marcus began travelling the world with a hand-held camera, collecting footage of almost 100 fellow disciples of the band.

Then in 2005, she was invited to enter the band’s inner sanctum and she captured the NME’s Godlike Genius Award winners in their native Wales from which they’d exploded with first album Generation Terrorists more than two decades before.

And now she’s about to answer every fan’s prayer when her long-awaited in-depth documentary feature No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers is given a special screening on March 2 in Crouch End, home to producer Ian Grimble, who worked on the hit single A Design For Life from the 1996 album Everything Must Go and the 1998 album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours.

The film also uses archive footage, intimate conversations at home with the band during the making of their 2007 album Send Away The Tigers, and live performances from three tours, which was filmed especially for this project.

“I didn’t want to make a typical rock doc – a chronological story,” says Elizabeth, who directed and co-produced No Manifesto with partner Kurt Engfehr, who previously edited the documentary Bowling For Columbine.

“The Manics’ aesthetic is to be a collage – to put together things that interest them and that may not fit together in an obvious way at first glance but have an underlying connection. I wanted to make a film like that – one that looks and feels more like a scrapbook than a narrative.

“And I wanted to make the fans a big part of it because it was largely the fan community that inspired my enthusiasm for the band.”

Twelve years in the making, No Manifesto captures James Dean Bradfield (singer/lead guitar), Nicky Wire (bass/lyricist) and Sean Moore (drums), approaching their 40s and coming to terms with what it means to be a middle-aged rock band – possibly the hardest realignment since the dramatic disappearance of friend and fourth band member Richey Edwards in February 1995.

“Having to talk about Richey, although they really wanted to do it, was hard for them,” recalls Elizabeth. “They didn’t want to dwell on the fact of his absence. It was almost like he went out to buy a packet of cigarettes and he’ll be back any minute.”

The band continue to put aside royalties for Richey, ready for him to collect should he ever return to the Caerphilly mining town of Blackwood where they grew up.

“That’s what drives the band – their working class bond, their friendship. A lot of fans mention that in the interviews,” says Elizabeth, “The love for each other that’s seen them through all the ups and downs.”

The downs included the critically cool reception for their 2004 album Lifeblood when they were forced to reassess their status.

“While we were making the film, they were exploring what it means not to be arena fillers any more but to still have a commercial audience – people who care about them and buy their records and always will,” says Elizabeth.

“A typical Manics fan is less defined by what you can see on the outside; inside they all feel they don’t quite belong – in a positive, not a negative way.

“There are some people who do the things that are expected of them and others have a restlessness and desire for something more exciting.

“That doesn’t have to mean wild and crazy and dramatic. It can just mean being proud of who you are.”

The screening at ArtHouse, Tottenham Lane, Crouch End on Monday, March 2 from 8.15pm will include 20 minutes of additional, never-before-seen concert footage and a Skype Q&A with Elizabeth Marcus. Details:

No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers is out now on DVD and we have a signed copy to give away. 

To be in with a chance of winning email your contact details to by noon on Monday, March 2