An Impossible Project

An Impossible Project


Dates: Saturday, November 21 at 7.00 pm

Location: The Theatre at the Mall of the Emirates

Tickets: AED 45

A timely tale of a thought-provoking exploration of the priorities of a society evolving faster than it can even comprehend.

In 2008, as we were all salivating over our first iPhone, an eccentric former biologist, Dr Florian Kaps – better known as ‘Doc’ – had a strange calling. He decided to save the last Polaroid factory in the world, in Enschede in the Netherlands. At first, the venture failed miserably. But the Doc never gives up and what follows is a heart-warming and inspiring trip into the new power of analogue – taking him to maybe one of the unlikeliest places of all: Silicon Valley.

Doc might have saved the factory, retrieved the machines from the scrap yard and persuaded the workers to return, but he had overlooked that the chemicals and formula to make Polaroid’s vintage instant film had been lost. Unwilling to let this minor technical hiccup hold him back, Doc finds inspiration in a worldwide community of believers devoted to the analogue dream, including calligraphers, vinyl aficionados and Moleskine bookbinders. But even though Doc dares to dream bigger than most, charisma and persuasion can only get you so far in a tech-driven world that’s addicted to moving faster and faster.

Directed by Jens Meurer, the film was shot on glorious Kodak 35mm – when everyone had assumed the film was ‘over’- and with a full orchestral film score recorded live direct-to-vinyl. This sumptuous feature documentary mirrors the unlikely and often tragi-comic underdog story of its hero, the eccentric Viennese biologist, who set out to save the world’s last Polaroid factory.

The screening is programmed by artist and writer Hind Mezaina, part of an ongoing series of documentaries and discussions that started in August touching upon relevant topics with the Dubai community. An Impossible Project highlights the importance of slowing down and the rising interest in analogue technology.

Art For All is happy to partner with Gulf Photo Plus for this screening, to engage with the photography community in Dubai. 

“Analogue photography is currently witnessing a renaissance all over the world, and GPP is proud to be helping to nurture a new generation of film shooters here in Dubai, through our workshops, film store and developing services. We’re very pleased to be partnering with Art For All and Hind Mezaina to show this brilliant documentary that satisfies our love for all things analogue and independent cinema.”

Finn Murray-Jones, Gulf Photo Plus Gallery and Project Manager 

About the director:

Berlin-based filmmaker Jens Meurer started his career as a local reporter and photographer at the Rand Daily Mail in South Africa. He studied at Balliol College, Oxford, Sciences-Po in Paris and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He has always worked internationally, at first directing documentaries in the Soviet Union, South Africa, Israel and the US, and then producing films all over Europe, as well as in the US, Africa and China. His feature film productions include Oscar-nominated The Last Station, Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book, Russian Ark and critically acclaimed Carlos, which received a Golden Globe in 2011.

About Gulf Photo Plus:

Dubai’s centre for photography, equipping and inspiring the local and international photography community through photography workshops, free artist talks, state-of-the-art printing services, and the region’s longest-running international photography event, GPP Photo Week.

About Art For All:

Art For All’s philosophy is simple. More than ever, young people need good, live entertainment so they can experience first-hand, traditional forms of performance art and culture. Furthermore, alongside our shows, we provide workshops and activities for students that help broaden their social awareness beyond the boundaries of school and mainstream entertainment.


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