Instant Dreams

INSTANT DREAMS International Trailer from Pieter van Huystee Film on Vimeo.


INSTANT DREAMS is a mind-bending cinematic journey across time and space. The film is a poetic, otherworldly adventure about Polaroids, the impact of future predictions and the necessity of dreams, blurring the line between memories and the imagination. INSTANT DREAMS tells the story of those who eagerly await the rebirth of the classic and recognizable Polaroid photo, and of scientists who are trying to unravel the secrets of the mysterious chemical formula. Each in their own way tries to keeps their instant dream alive. The characters we meet along the way in their journey…

Stefanie Schneider – a free-spirited successful German artist lives in a Polaroid picture-world out in the Californian desert. Her Polaroids are visions of her dreams. As her stock, essentially her lifeblood, runs out, we are treated to one of her last shoots. In New York the scholarly Christopher Bonanos, an editor at New York Magazine, wrote a book on the history of the Polaroid that tries to capture his relationship with his young son. Stephen Herchen, a retired chemist who worked alongside the Polaroid’s inventor, left his family int he US to finish what he started. In his lab in Germany, and in a factory in The Netherlands, he tries to unravel the formula. At night he ponders on what he describes as the chemically most complex manmade thing ever made – something akin to a living organism. Meanwhile in in Tokyo a young girl is just starting to discover it all…Their lives are strangely connected, each in their own way compelled not to let the medium die. In each character we encounter suspense, mystery, quirkiness and humour. We observe touching moments and partake in surreal  situations.

Like Polaroids, themselves, we are chemical beings full of unexpected chemical reactions. The emotions we project onto these small canvasses are like mirrors onto our own imagination, or a culmination of our fuzzy memories. Ultimately the Polaroid picture in INSTANT DREAMS is a metaphor and a window into our need and desire to capture and keep evolving reality.

feature length documentary; 91 minutes
Broadcaster: NTR
Producer: PvH Film
Distribution: Cinema Delicatessen, Dalton, Synergetic Distribution
Supported by Media Fund, Film Fund, CoBO
Sales: Cargo (USA)

‘Baptist linkt de chemische reactie die de polaroids tot leven laat komen heel fraai aan de chemische bevrediging die deze foto’s in onze hersenen bewerkstelligen.’ – ★★★★, Het Parool

‘De magie van de foto die zich voor je ogen ontwikkelt.’ – ★★★★, Trouw

‘Baptist maakte zo een film als een hallucinante trip: Een mooi eerbetoon aan dat betoverende medium.’ – ★★★★, de Volkskrant


– International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) – First Appearance Competition & Dutch Documentary Competition
– Slamdance International Film Festival
– 20th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
– 22th Sofia International Film Festival
–  Visions Du Reel 2018
– Millennium Docs Against Gravity
– Dublin Sci-Fi Festival – Winner Best Documentary
– SF DocFest
– Indiestreet Festival, New Jersey
– Netherlands Film Festival – Nominated for Golden Calf for Best Music
– Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival
– Tirana International Film Festival

* Nominated for Doc Alliance Award 2018 *


Belgium and The Netherlands are the first countries to screen Instant Dreams in cinemas. More information on other countries will hopefully follow soon.

THE NETHERLANDS – PAST SCREENINGS AMERSFOORT • De Lieve Vrouw – Theater Film Café AMSTERDAM • De Balie, Filmhallen, Kriterion, Rialto APELDOORN • Podium Gigant • From 18/1 DEN BOSCH • Verkadefabriek DEN HAAG • Filmhuis Den Haag DELFT • Lumen • From 25/1 DEVENTER • Filmhuis De Keizer• 25/02 with Q&A Willem Baptist. ENSCHEDE • Concordia GRONINGEN • Groninger Forum (Openingsfilm IDFA Groningen) HILVERSUM • Filmtheater Hilversum LEEUWARDEN • Slieker MIDDELBURG • Cinema Middelburg NIJMEGEN • Lux MAASTRICHT • Lumiere ROTTERDAM • LantarenVenster UTRECHT • T Hoogt Filmtheater en Café VLIELAND • Podium Vlieland (IDFA Vlieland) ZWOLLE• Het Fraterhuis HEERLEN• Filmhuis De Spiegel • 26/3 HOORN • Cinema Noordereiland • 9/4 with Q&A Willem Baptist. AMSTERDAM • Ketelhuis • 14/4 (Worldpress Photo Screening) ZUTPHEN • Luxor • 8 &10 juni (Worldpress Photo Screening) THE NETHERLANDS – EXPECTED SCREENINGS AMSTERDAM • Pakhuis de Zwijger • 12 jul

For Dutch audiences Instant Dreams will be available on Picl for a limited time as well. Picl is a new online platform that brings films that currently show in cinemas to your screen at home. See

For screenings in Belgium visit: Dalton Distribution