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.

‘The magic of the photo that develops before your eyes’
– Trouw, ★★★★

“Baptist made such a film as a hallucinatory trip: A beautiful tribute to that enchanting medium.”
– de Volkskrant, ★★★★

“Baptist links the chemical reaction that makes the polaroids come alive very nicely to the chemical satisfaction that these photos bring to our brains.” – Het Parool, ★★★★

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.

Produced by Pieter van Huystee film & TV 
Running time: 91 minutes 


December 14

De Balie, Amsterdam.
With an introduction and Q&A with director Willem Baptist and visual artist Robin Waart.

Lantaren Venster, Rotterdam.
Followed by a lecture by Polaroid specialist Katrin Pietsch

Screenings in the Netherlands from December 14:

AMSTERDAM • Filmhallen
AMSTERDAM • Kriterion
AMERSFOORT • De Lieve Vrouw
DEN BOSCH • Verkadefabriek
DEN HAAG • Filmhuis Den Haag
DEVENTER • Filmhuis de Keizer
ENSCHEDE • Concordia
HILVERSUM • Filmtheater Hilversum
ROTTERDAM • LantarenVenster
UTRECHT • t Hoogt
ZWOLLE • Het Fraterhuis

Screenings in Belgium from December 13:

-Cinema Zuid, Antwerpen
-UGC, Antwerpen
-Cinema Sphinx, Gent
-Cinema ZED – Vesalius, Leuven


Co-producing broadcaster

Running time
91 min

Feature Documentary

Country of Production
The Netherlands

Director & screenplay
Willem Baptist

Gregor Meerman NSC

Location Sound
David Spaans

Albert Markus Jr.

Marc Lizier

Sound design
Ranko Paukovic / Albert Markus Jr.

Re-recording mixer
Ranko Paukovic

Visual effects
Barend Onneweer

Pieter van Huijstee

Line producers
Lotte Gerding, Zoë de Wilde Production

Editors NTR
Oscar van der Kroon, Marloes Blokker

Dutch Distributor
Cinema Delicatessen

Dutch Cultural Media Fund,
the Netherlands Film Fund,
the Netherlands Film Production
Incentive CoBO Fund


Pieter van Huystee Film
Pieter van Huijstee
Donker Curtiusstraat 125
t. 0031 (0)20 421 06 06

Sales and Distribution

(images, stills and screeners)
Public Film 
Rudolf Kats 
t. 0031 (0)20 421 06 06





© Pieter van Huystee Film 2017


In 1995 Pieter van Huystee started his own production company. Since then he has produced many film projects and international coproductions, most of them documentaries with renowned Dutch filmmakers such as Johan van der Keuken, Heddy Honigmann, Renzo Martens, Leonard Retel Helmrich, Boris Gerrets, Renzo Martens and young talented directors. Many of the documentaries and features are screened at festivals all over the world and have been awarded many times.