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Press Release
Instant Dreams by Willem Baptist is selected for two IDFA Competitions

Pieter van Huystee Film is proud to announce that Instant Dreams, An Extraordinary Polaroid Trip by director Willem Baptist will have it’s premiere at the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, where it has been selected for two competitions: IDFA Competition for First Appearance and IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary.

Premiere date: November 18th 2017.
Instant Dreams is a feature documentary by Willem Baptist (Wild boar, I’m Never Afraid!) about the fascination and love for Polaroids. When Polaroid announced the end of instant film in 2008, the last still working factory was bought by a small group of enthusiasts. Among them is the retired scientist Stephen Herchen who previously collaborated with the inventor of Polaroid and is still trying to unravel the secret of the lost chemical formula.
In this overwhelming cinematic journey, Baptist introduces us to a number of quirky individuals who are connected to Polaroid in a special way: the German artist Stefanie Schneider, who does a photo shoot in the California desert with her last existing original Polaroid stock; New York Magazine editor Christopher Bonanos, who wrote a book about Polaroid's history and tries to capture the relationship with his son with his instant camera; and a Japanese girl who first discovered the magic of Polaroid in Tokyo. Everyone tries to keep the instant dream alive in his or her way.
Slowly we also begin to feel the magic of Polaroids. Like the instant photos, we are chemical creatures full of unpredictable reactions. Eventually, the Polaroids in Instant Dreams are a metaphor for our desire to capture our dreams.
Premiere date: November 18th 2017, Netherlands

Director: Willem Baptist, Camera: Gregor Meerman NSC, Sound: David Spaans, Editing: Albert Markus Jr., Music: Marc Lizier, Sound Design: Ranko Paukovic, Albert Markus Jr., Visual Effects: Barend Onneweer - Raamw3rk, Line Producers: Lotte Gerding, Zoë de Wilde, Commissioning Editors NTR: Oscar van der Kroon, Marloes Blokker, Producer: Pieter van Huijstee, Pieter van Huystee Film. Dutch distributor: Cinema Delicatessen.

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Additional information:
Instant Dreams is set for theatrical release in The Netherlands and Belgium on December 14th. International festivals and international release information will be made public in due time.

Instant Dreams is vanaf 14 december te zien in de filmtheaters.

Verwacht in:
AMSTERDAM • Rialto • Speciale voorpremière met Q&A Willem Baptist op 9 december
AMSTERDAM • Filmhallen
AMSTERDAM • Kriterion
AMERSFOORT • De Lieve Vrouw
DEN BOSCH • Verkadefabriek
DEVENTER • Filmhuis de Keizer
ENSCHEDE • Concordia
GRONINGEN • Groninger forum
HILVERSUM • Filmtheater Hilversum
ROTTERDAM • LantarenVenster
UTRECHT • t Hoogt
ZWOLLE • Het Fraterhuis


Steffi takes polaroid

Instant Dreams is not your typical documentary. It is a cinematic essayistic quest for the secret of Polaroid instant film, the magic appeal of Polaroid and what that tells us about the fascinating relationship we humans have with the photographic image. The quest takes the viewer along the tension between artist and medium, technique and emotion, nostalgia and rationality. Among the main characters featured are – THE WRITER - Christopher Bonanos (bestselling author of the book Instant – The Story of Polaroid and editor at New York Magazine), - THE ARTIST - Stefanie Schneider (artist living and working in Berlin and the High Desert of California) and – THE CHEMIST - Stephen Herchen - PhD (one of the main chemists who worked closely with Dr. Land to perfect the Polaroid-chemical process in the 70’ and now tries to replicate it in Dusseldorf and Enschede). In Vienna Westlicht Museum we meet – THE CURATOR – a team of curators who try to preserve the old art collection of Polaroid. Together with a rich palette of archive material Instant Dreams will be a cinematic and philosophical film experience that delves deep into and goes beyond the Polaroid experience. Why do we dream about images, why do they capture our imagination? What does it tells us about who we are as human beings? Why do we humans, who are always dreaming of perfection, have such an obsession with the imperfect?

   willem with flower
     Stefanie photographs Willem

- brief summary -
About the director
Willem Baptist (1979) is a filmmaker based in Rotterdam – The Netherlands. He directs creative documentaries and fiction. He has writen for himself, sometimes for others and likes to produce and creatively consult as well at certain times. He is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus, IDFA Workshop, IFFR Cinemart – Young Producers Lab and graduated from The Willem de Kooning School of the Arts. His work has screened in competition at such festivals as Berlinale, IDFA,  HotDocs, Rotterdam IFFR, Toronto TIFF, Karlovy Vary, BFI London, AFI Docs, Slamdance and many others. His acclaimed youth documentary I’M NEVER AFRAID! (2010) screened at 100+ film festivals worldwide and won 6 international awards including the KINDERKAST JURY AWARD at 25th Cinekid, GOLDEN GATE AWARD at 55th San Francisco International Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize at 36th Atlanta Film Festival as well as nominated for Best Children Production by Institute for Sound & Image. His documentary WILD BOAR (2013) was shortlist nominated for a GOUDEN KALF at the Netherlands Film Festival, awarded at Visions Du Réel in Switserland and nominated for a Chrystal globe at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. His producers credits include Lifelong (feature film, dir. A. Ozge, 63th Berlin Int. Film Festival) and Skatekeet (short, dir. E. Cook, 66th Berlin Int. Film Festival). His writer credits include Young Wrestlers (feature, dir. M. Gumurhan, 66th Berlin Int Film Festival)

Brief Director’s statement
For me it all started with my irrational love for analogue film. First my vivid memories with shooting Polaroids in my youth, developing 35mm still photograph’s during my time at art school and finally working with s16mm on my first film projects. It is said that Polaroid’s have a tangible quality. But for me the dreaminess of the image goes further than that. It acts like a magic mirror for us to project our own feelings onto it. Maybe we are attracted to it because we are also chemical beings. This ‘ hard to grasp’ feelings we have with these images parallel the same way Cinema, in it’s purest sense, works. It’s an illusion of reality or maybe reality in a way that we would wish or dream it could be. In a time that images are instantly fast shared via internet, i-phones and apps I really want to get at the heart of what captives us in images. My intention with Instant Dreams is to take the viewer on a journey – a quest – no so much to answer all question surrounding instant film and images in a analytical way but more on a philosophical level. I am not your typical documentary filmmaker. My heart is with cinema and telling stories regardless of genre. For Instant Dreams my main inspirations are such films like: The Holy Mountain & El Topo (Jodorowsky), Three of Life & Days of Heaven (Malick) and the works of Tarkovsky. Instant Dreams will be a film in its own cinematic universe from which the viewer can distill things that translate to our own reality.

    Willem photographs Stefanie
      Willem photographs Stefanie

- brief summary -
On working with Stefanie
Stefanie’s lifelong relationship with instant film is inspiring, her work impressive and fully embodies my vision of this medium and the way I want to portray it in my film. Here choosing a location to work from that blends her art and reality forms a happy marriage to my vision for Instant Dreams in where I in a way have the same goals to convey this story. Me choosing the title Instant Dreams is no accident. That’s why I decided that Stefanie will be the only real artist to be featured in the film and I think that it should be done in a way that not only puts a spotlight on her work, but adds to the mystique. That what is in some form illusive, mysterious and magical only makes us crave for more. So in filming how Stefanie’s creates her work, I will try also to capture the elements of her work in the visuals of my film; the day-dream-like quality, power of femininity, subtle eroticism and whole eccentric ‘weird’ vibe of the timeless surroundings. Stefanie is a great artist; and I want to portray that greatness in a poetic larger than life fashion.