EN - The American West: an arid, mythical landscape characterised by the absence of water, trees, or life. In the beginning there was nothing. The film tells the many-layered story of human presence in the American desert through a mosaic of stories which merge into a chronicle of a country at the crossroads of present and past, myth and reality.

NL - Het Amerikaanse Westen. We zijn terecht gekomen in een wereld waar menselijk leven niet mogelijk lijkt te zijn: een droog mythisch landschap gekenmerkt door afwezigheid. Afwezigheid van water, bomen, leven. In den beginne was er niets. Maar dan duiken er sporen op. Desert Haze vertelt een veelgelaagd verhaal van de menselijke aanwezigheid in de Amerikaanse Woestijn. De sporen van de geschiedenis verhouden zich als geologische laagjes in de woestijn.  De film wordt een mozaïek van verschillende verhalen, die samen een bijzondere kroniek vormen over Amerika op het kruispunt van heden en verleden, mythe en werkelijkheid. Van Astronauten die toekomstige marsmissies voorbereiden, over Japanse country zangers en archeologen op zoek naar restanten van militaire testvliegtuigen tot de mysterieuze dood van John Wayne.


Title Desert Haze
Original title Desert Haze
Original language English
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Docs
Genre creative documentary
Year 2014
World première / first public presentation 2014-01-03


Photography Fairuz
Editing Nico Leunen
Sound Kwinten Van Laethem
Sound mix Michel Schöpping

Technical specs

Running time film 108'
Release format DCP
Other available formats HDCam, Blu-ray
Aspect ratio 16:9
Sound format 5.1 / stereo
Colour Colour
Available in 2D


Supported by Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Media Program of the European Union, The Netherlands Film Fund
Production partners Zeppers Film


2014: Visions du Réel (CH), Docville (BE), Filmfestival Oostende (BE), DOK Leipzig (DE)


2014: Special Mention - Docville (BE)

Flemish six-pack at Helsinki’s DocPoint Festival

Celebrating its 14th edition, Helsinki’s DocPoint Documentary Film Festival (January 27 – February 1) this year boasted a programme packed with films from Flanders. In addition to Waiting for August, 9999 and Desert Haze, the festival also featured Elephant’s Dream, State of Play and Nathan, Free as a Bird. Three docs co-produced with Flanders - See No Evil, Ming of Harlem and Ne me quitte pas - also made an appearance in Helsinki.

Waiting for August TrailerAfter successful outings at Hot Docs, Karlovy Vary and Visions du Réel, Teodora Ana Mihai was in Helsinki to present Waiting for August. Produced by Clin d’Oeil Films, the film follows a 15-year-old Romanian girl as she takes care of her six brothers and sisters while their mother is away earning a living in Italy.

Published on Wednesday 28 January 2015

Flanders’ Eight to DOK Leipzig

Elephant’s Dream, a documentary feature by Kristof Bilsen, is to have its world premiere at DOK Leipzig, the International Film Festival for Documentary and Animation Film (27 October – 2 November). Joining it in competition is Sofie Benoot with Desert Haze; three of Wendy Morris’s animation shorts have also been selected. Completing the Flemish line-up this year are the animation short films Diamond, Cash Register 9 and Vol au vent.

Elephant's DreamKristof Bilsen’s new documentary film Elephant’s Dream has been confirmed for Leipzig’s Young Cinema Competition, a collection of first, second or third documentaries. Bilsen focuses on a group of public sector workers at a railway station, a post office and the only fire station in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Through the microcosm of these three state-owned institutions, Bilsen provides a poetic and compassionate insight into a country in transition.

Published on Wednesday 22 October 2014

Strong Flemish presence in Nyon

Ellen Vermeulen’s documentary feature 9999, Waiting for August by Teodora Ana Mihai and Desert Haze by Sofie Benoot have all been selected for the International Documentary Festival Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland. The line-up also includes three shorts from Flanders: 28 rue Brichaut, Maybe Darkness and PS São Paulo. Finally, California City, a new project by Sofie Benoot, Isabelle Tollenaere and Liesbeth De Ceulaer will be presented at Pitching du Réel.

9999Benoot’s Desert Haze is to receive its world première in the International Features competition at Visions du Réel, which takes place from April 25 to May 3 this year.

Published on Friday 4 April 2014

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Last edited on 23 June 2015

Short info

Director Sofie Benoot
Producers Eric Goossens, Frederik Nicolai
Writers Sofie Benoot

Off World
Eric Goossens & Frederik Nicolai
Deschampheleerstraat 24-26
1081 Brussels
T +32 (0)2 412 40 40
F +32 (0)2 412 40 49


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