Dusty & Stones

“The most unlikely great documentary of the year is this one.” – Living Life Fearless

Dusty & Stones is a continent-crossing hero’s journey story told through country music. The documentary intimately chronicles the remarkable ride of cousins Gazi “Dusty” Simelane and Linda “Stones” Msibi, a determined duo of struggling country singers from the tiny African Kingdom of Eswatini (known as Swaziland at the time of filming) who long for their big break.

When they are unexpectedly invited to record their songs in Nashville and to compete in a Texas battle of the bands, Dusty and Stones embark on their long-awaited first pilgrimage to the ancestral heart of country music.

Over a momentous ten-day road trip through the American South, Dusty and Stones bring their music to life in a top Nashville recording studio, explore the storied locales of their favorite country songs, and excitedly engage with the culture they’ve long felt part of from afar.

But this sense of kinship is abruptly thrown into question when Dusty and Stones arrive in the small town of Jefferson, Texas to compete in the battle of the bands. There, the hostile leader of the local backing band threatens to derail the cousins’ debut American performance. As their family and friends back home wait for good news, a shell-shocked Dusty and Stones must take the stage and fight to bring home an award for Swaziland.



New York
United States
November 17, 2022
World Premiere
US Competition Grand Jury Prize Nominee

Calgary International Film Festival's Top Docs Screening Series
February 1, 2023

International Premiere
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Missoula, Montana
United States
February 18, 2023

Northwest Premiere
Hot Docs' Doc Soup Screening Series
March 1, 2023

Oxford Film Festival
Oxford, Mississippi
United States
March 4, 2023

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival
Sebastopol, California
United States
March 12, 2023
Curtain Raiser Film

Filmfort at Treefort Music Fest
Boise, Idaho
United States
March 24, 2023
Opening Night Film

Annapolis Film Festival
Annapolis, Maryland
United States
March 24, 2023

Salem Film Fest
Salem, Massachusetts
United States
March 27, 2023
Virtual Only

RiverRun International Film Festival
Winston-Salem, NC
United States
April 14, 2023
Best Director Award - Documentary Features

Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival
Minneapolis, Minnesota
United States
April 16, 2023

Florida Film Festival
Maitland, Florida
United States
April 17, 2023
Special Jury Award for Debut Feature

Atlanta Film Festival
Atlanta, Georgia
United States
April 20, 2023
Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature

Buenos Aires
April 21, 2023

South American Premiere
Thin Line Festival
Denton, Texas
United States
April 28, 2023
Jury Award for Best Feature

San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
San Luis Obispo, California
United States
April 28, 2023
Audience Award for Best Documentary

DOK.fest München
May 4, 2023
European Premiere

May 7, 2023

deadCenter Film Festival
Oklahoma City
United States
June 10, 2023

June 22, 2023
Special Jury Mention

Woods Hole Film Festival
Woods Hole, MA
United States
August 1, 2023
Special Jury Mention - Best Documentary Feature

Nowadays Summer Screening Series
United States
July 25, 2023

Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival
Middlebury, Vermont
United States
August 23, 2023
Opening Night Film

Filmfestival Kitzbühel
August 24, 2023

Oulu Music Video Festival
August 27, 2023

Footcandle Film Festival
Hickory, North Carolina
United States
September 24, 2023

Woods Hole Film Festival - Best of the Fest Screening
Cotuit, Massachusetts
United States
October 11, 2023


Film Stills

Image Caption: Featured image for ‘Dusty & Stones’. Image Caption: Featured image for ‘Dusty & Stones’.


Dusty & Stones (2022)

Feature (83mins) Documentary Biography


United States of America, Swaziland


English, Zulu


No Rating


Melissa Adeyemo


Jesse Rudoy


Fri 22 Sep 2023, 5.30pm, MovieTowne, POS—Screen 10

Tue 26 Sep 2023, 3.00pm, MovieTowne, POS—Screen 09

Caribbean Premiere

Jesse Rudoy

Jesse Rudoy

Jesse Rudoy is a filmmaker, musician, and born-again country fan based in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently a story producer and editor on a forthcoming HBO documentary series. He was recently a writer/producer on “Morally Indefensible,” FX Network’s first podcast about the Jeffrey MacDonald murders. Jesse has composed original music for brands like Adidas and National Geographic and released music on the record label Let’s Play House. He is also the co-founder of White Label Yerba Mate Soda, a beverage brand served at nightclubs and raves throughout New York City. His first feature film, “Dusty & Stones,” has received support from HBO, XTR Film Society, Gotham Film and Media Institute, Durban FilmMart, and Film Independent.

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Belmont, Port of Spain,
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