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An Impossible Project – Trailer for new documentary celebrates the comeback of Analog

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Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe award-winning producer/director Jens Meurer (Russian Ark, The Last Station) returns to his documentary roots with an ambitious new feature documentary, An Impossible Project. Shot on glorious Kodak 35mm and with a stylistic nod to Jacques Tati, AN IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT is a warm, witty and inspiring celebration of a counter-revolution: the comeback of ‘analog’.

At the film’s center is the tale of a modern-day Don Quixote, Florian “Doc” Kaps and his crusade to protect and preserve the analog world, starting with the iconic yet nearly shuttered film and camera company, Polaroid. The intrepid Viennese biologist risks his career and fortune to save the world’s last Polaroid factory. Told repeatedly that this mission is impossible and facing obstacles at every corner, including the discovery that the Polaroid formula had been irretrievably lost, the indefatigable “Doc” forges ahead.

AN IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT provides nostalgia from start to finish as a lovable visionary moves from one seemingly impossible project to the next.

Back in 2008, headlines were made when Polaroid announced they would stop making their signature Polaroid instant film. They reasoned that digital had killed film for good and there was no point to continue production. Besides being an ultimate low point for a company that had once been considered the Apple of its time, artists, photographers and consumers were still using that film, with no plans to stop. Millions of cameras that filled households across the world were now facing the prospect of becoming completely worthless.

Florian “Doc” Kaps, a Biologist traveling Europe, ended up salvaging a Polaroid factory before it was shuttered, and founded The Impossible Project, in 2008.

Doc and his team made it their mission to create instant film that could replace the increasingly rare and expensive Polaroid film that had been discontinued. Polaroid had already destroyed their supply chains in the early 2000s, so simply recreating the old formula wasn’t an option. New chemicals had to be found, new processes created. Considered an insane undertaking, they called themselves The Impossible Project.

The Impossible Project wouldn’t release their first batch of film until 2010, and leading up to then, photographers (including Jens Meurer), watched the website’s countdown timer, wondering if they’d actually pull it off.

Then, finally, PX 100 Silver Shade First Flush appeared. The dawn of a new era. And it was terrible. It leaked chemicals, the photos blew out when exposed to light too soon, and humidity ate the pictures from the inside out.

But another eight years later, Florian “Doc” Kaps was proven right – Instant film was back with a vengeance and the company returned to its iconic original name: Polaroid.

“To me, there’s a very modern, forward-looking message in (re-)discovering not just analog technologies, but the analog mindset of using all five of our senses: It’s a super-timely story and a healthy antidote to the digital overload that our daily life has become,” says Meurer.

As viewers follow Doc’s journey from Vienna to Milan, New York, Berlin and Los Angeles, they are introduced to other analog pioneers such as Moleskine founder Maria Sebregondi; visit Europe’s largest vinyl plant and watch a recording session with Postmodern Jukebox singer Haley Reinhart and the 40-piece Sacha Peres Orchestra as they capture the film’s soundtrack direct-to-vinyl at the Südbahnhotel outside Vienna. Yet another “impossible” undertaking of Florian “Doc” Kaps, is to re-open the Südbahnhotel, a 1902 Grand Hotel where the last guest “checked out in 1976”.

AN IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT was co-produced by Instant Film and Mischief, with the participation of ARRI Media, Weltkino, Head Gear Films, Metrol Technology and Bohemia Media

Offering an alternative to the digital deluge of 21st-century life, Bohemia Media will bring AN IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT to Home Entertainment audiences on June 1, followed by a rollout to select theaters as part of the “Tales of Europe” program by Art House Convergence.

The documentary hits select US cinemas and digital download on 1st June 2021.

Check out the official site.

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