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Instant Dreams

Documentary, 2017, 91 min.

There could hardly be a more telling contrast between the analog and digital eras than the beautifully blurry memories captured in a Polaroid picture and the thousands of pin-sharp photos on an iPhone. In this ambitious visual essay, Willem Baptist explores the visionary genius of Edwin H. Land, the inventor of the Polaroid camera. Even today, all sorts of people are keeping his instant dream alive. Former Polaroid employee Stephen Herchen moved from the United States to Europe to work in a laboratory developing the 2.0 version of Polaroid. Christopher Bonanos, the author of Instant: The Story of Polaroid, tells us, "When I heard Polaroid would stop making film, it felt like a close friend had died." Artist Stefanie Schneider, who is working with the last of her stock of Polaroid film, is using the blurring that occurs with expired film as an additional aesthetic layer in her photographic work. The soundtrack is as evocative as the sometimes hypnotically expressive imagery, with archive footage, interviews and gorgeous chemical reactions crisscrossing paths in a veritable rollercoaster of color and light.

won prizes

  • NL - Amsterdam International Docu Film Festival IDFA selection

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