2007 // 15′ // DVCPro50 // 5.1 Stereo // UK // IMDb // British Films Catalogue

a film by
Esther Johnson

Yalda is one film segment of feature film The City Speaks

film players
Yalda — Erin Brodie
Gentleman in Park — Clem Elton
Synchronised Swimming Troupe — Aquabatix

audio players
Yalda — Adjoa Andoh
Paul/Anaesthetist — Nitin Ganantra
Surgeon — Simon Treves
Woman in Church/Nurse — Liza Sadovy

Mehrdad Seyf

inspired by an original story by
Peter Ackroyd

David Pickvance

Lynda Hall

Sue Giovanni
Esther Johnson

BBC audio production
Sam Hoyle
Peter Ringrose

BBC radio drama executive producer
Alison Hindell

BBC radio drama producer
Conor Lennon

Film London head of production
Maggie Elllis

Film London producer
Roz Mortimer


distribution The City Speaks
Film London


Finalist Golden Egg Award Reykjavik International Film Festival

Radio Broadcasts

BBC Radio 4 92-95FM & 198LW 14:15, 19.03.08 and 20.03.08

Television Broadcast

BBC 4, 2008

Film Festivals and Special Events

HATCHED 2017 Oxford International Women’s Festival, The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford 18:30 24.02.17
Sound in Vision Film Festival Clapham Picture House, London 28.08.10
The Projection Gallery, Shangri-la Tent, Glastonbury Festival Somerset 06.10
Longing, Lust, Rage and Joy: The Projection Gallery Toronto Alternative Fashion Week Canada 22.04.10
Valentines Film Festival Curzon Mayfair, London 02.10
Asterfest Strumica, Macedonia 27–31.05.09
Evolution Festival: Lumen Leeds 13–16.05.09
Girls on Film: International Women’s Day Bradford Playhouse 08.03.09
25th Kassel Documentary Film & Video Festival Germany 11–16.11.08
Reykjavik International Film Festival Iceland 01–05.10.08
Harvestworks Video Art Festival New York 24–26.09.08
Canary Wharf Film Festival London 31.08.08
Cinema Jove 23rd International Film Festival Valencia, Spain 21–28.06.08
Moves 08 RNCM Manchester 26.04.08
East End Film Festival London 22.04.08
The City Speaks BFI Southbank NFT1, London 18:30 10.03.08

“Do you love me?”, “Yes”, he said, and then…

Yalda is a colourful musical journey into the narrative of a woman’s tangled past, with magical glimpses of her present world and hopes for a liberated future.

A short experimental fiction film made for The City Speaks, an innovative collaborative project developed by Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network and BBC Radio Drama.

Background on the The City Speaks project

The City Speaks provided artist filmmakers with an opportunity to collaborate with acclaimed author Peter Ackroyd, composer David Pickvance, writers and specialist sound engineers to work outside of traditional radio play conventions. Six, short form audio-visual artworks were commissioned to form a centre-piece of the BBC Radio 4 season in 2008, celebrating London as a cosmopolitan city.

Conceived as a truly innovative multi-disciplinary and cross-platform project for contemporary media, The City Speaks was presented across a range of contexts launching at the BFI cinema, London, and broadcasting nationally on Radio 4 and BBC4 and across several digital and interactive broadcast platforms.

Commissioned by FLAMIN (Film London Artist Moving Image Network) and BBC Radio Drama

Funded by Arts Council England