UK’s first season of Vietnamese cinema announced including Professor Esther Johnson’s ‘DUST & METAL’ – 16-31 May 2024

The first national celebration of Vietnamese film in cinemas Star Nhà Ease: Vietnamese Cinema today announces its programme, introducing Vietnamese cinema to UK audiences across the country this May. The Season is supported by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding, British Council and Longdan Ltd. Co-curated by Esther Johnson, Cường Minh Bá Phạm, and Tuyết Vân Huỳnh, Star Nhà Ease includes five feature films, a short film programme, live musical performances and Q&As across four venues in London, Birmingham and Liverpool, with 15 confirmed events and more to be announced.


Star Nhà Ease will present Professor Esther Johnson’s archive essay documentary Dust & Metal (2022), which features extracts from across Vietnamese cinematic history, stemming from her field research in archives of the Vietnamese Film Institute. This will be accompanied by a live score from Xo Xinh, Vietnamese electronic music composer and performer at three dates across London, Birmingham and Liverpool. The ‘cine-concert’ is a truly international collaborative project, supported by the British Council and co-produced by TPD: The Centre for Movie Talents in Hanoi. The performances are a rare opportunity to see this unique work performed live after world premiering at Sheffield DocFest 2022. and its Vietnamese premiere at Monsoon Music Festival in 2023, as a part of the British Council UK/Viet Nam Season.


Among the feature films presented as part of the Season are Little Girl of Hanoi (1974), a poignant portrayal of the 1972 U.S. bombing campaign over Hanoi, infused with a message of hope in Hải Ninh’s compelling drama. These screenings will be complemented by an original live musical response from Nammy Wams, a London-based music producer and DJ specialising in grime, UK drill, and the related sounds.

Dust & Metal film poster


Star Nhà Ease is dedicated to unveiling the rich tapestry of Vietnamese cinema to UK audiences for the first time. This initiative will focus on expanding the understanding of Vietnam’s unique cinematic identity and spotlighting the wealth of its cinematic achievements, which remain largely unrecognised in the West.

Tracing back to the 1920s, amidst a backdrop of considerable challenges and prolonged conflict, filmmakers have profoundly captured the tumultuous journey of Vietnamese people. Through their art, they have carved out a distinctive cinematic identity, establishing a voice that demands to be heard. As we approach the centenary of Vietnamese cinema in 2024, it presents a fitting moment to introduce UK audiences to a curated selection of rarely seen Vietnamese films.

Our mission is to kindle a passion for Vietnamese cinema among viewers, celebrate its rich legacy, encourage the exploration of more Vietnamese films, and stimulate discussions on the narratives shaping Vietnam and its diaspora and the intrinsic value of the films we have selected. Star Nhà Ease aims to highlight the significance of film heritage and its role in empowering underrepresented communities and voices. By doing so, we envision a scenario where individuals, who rarely see themselves reflected on screen, will be drawn to cinemas in large numbers, feeling a sense of belonging within the broader spectrum of British arts and culture.

Star Nhà Ease: Vietnamese Cinema Season is supported by the BFI Audience Project Fund, awarding National Lottery funding, the British Council and Longdan Ltd.

The Project was originally supported by the British Council’s UK/Viet Nam Season 2023.



Further details on Dust & Metal can be found here.

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