This film came about through a request to interview some Vietnamese people about their experiences of crime in south London. They told me they didn't experience much crime and they felt the worst was behind them. Most of these people had come to the UK as refugees and they all had incredible stories of reaching these shores. Money was raised and I ended up taking Yen-do, one of the women at the refugee centre on a journey back to Hanoi and followed her route to the UK via Hong Kong and south China in a leaky boat.
When we showed the film, many of the Vietnamese had never been inside a cinema and it was humbling when they queued to thank me for telling their story. A lot was learnt in making this film and it was nominated for an award at IDFA in 2006 - proving that an independent almost solo production can reach a big audience. Sadly with dark irony, Ken Hong who worked at the refugee centre and assisted greatly as a go-between for me was murdered outside his house later that year.
UNTIL WHEN YOU DIE (2006 UK 29' DIR/PROD MARK AITKEN)