Professor Esther Johnson’s DUST & METAL to screen at Leeds International Film Festival 2022

Professor Esther Johnson‘s new poetic documentary feature film DUST & METAL which received its world premiere at this year’s Sheffield DocFest will screen on 9 November at the 36th Leeds International Film Festival. Esther has also been invited as a member of the jury for the drama feature film competition.

Tickets for the film are available HERE

Further information on the film can be found here and the film trailer can be watched here.

Dust & Metal still

Featuring unfamiliar histories of Vietnam and rare archive film from the Vietnam Film Institute, DUST & METAL (CÁT BỤI & KIM LOẠI) is a poetic reflection on Vietnam’s love affair with motorbikes. With a population of 97 million, and 45 million registered motorbikes (the highest in SouthEast Asia) that’s almost one bike for every two people. The countries urban roads and ‘hẻm’ alleys are only accessible by two-wheels. These roads are awash with the transportation of goods of all types and sizes on the back of motorbikes, including washing machines, entire families, and chickens. The sounds of engines and horns create a symphony of Vietnamese life.

Through a unique partnership with the Vietnam Film Institute to digitize rare archive film, this British Council funded Vietnamese-British project repositions difficult to access archive film alongside contemporary footage of Vietnam, and a score composed and performed by Vietnamese US-based artist Xo Xinh. The work takes the form of a creative poetic documentary in the vein of director Esther Johnson’s live cinema feature film ASUNDER.

Esther says on the screening in Leeds, I’m thrilled to be invited to screen ‘Dust & Metal’ at LIFF, a festival that has supported many of my short films. I’m fascinated with film heritage so it’s additionally fantastic to screen in Leeds, a city where Louis Le Prince shot, arguably, the earliest films in 1888. ‘Dust & Metal’ has been a labour of love made through the particularly difficult period of covid lockdowns. The film integrates much unseen footage from the Vietnam Film Institute, and it was incredibly gratifying to be able to contribute to the preservation of such works from Vietnam’s film heritage through new 2K scans made of rare films.”


Further information on Professor Esther Johnson’s work can be found here and on her University profile page.