Life is Dream / Het Leven is Droom (NL)
A film by Vanesa Abajo Pérez

In the end of the 1960s, Vanesa’s parents fled the Franco-regime’s deep poverty to pursue their dream in the Netherlands. Working their blue-collar jobs for hours and hours, for over 45 years, their purpose was to return to Spain wealthy and comfortable. There, in a house full of Dutch porcelain and shiny gold, they can now finally rest. Vanesa was raised and resides in the Netherlands, but still feels trapped in their expectant illusion, even with the distance between them. Torn between two homes, she starts to re-examine her past. What kind of life did they truly live? And did she have the freedom to make her own life decisions?

In Life Is Dream the director dissects her family's immigrant-dream with the poetry and precision of her camera. While the boundaries between dream and reality, illusion and disillusion, slowly dissolve, the film develops into an intimate, surrealist story of self-discovery questioning the value of family ties.

Screenings and media
Worldpremiere September 26th 2020 during NFF 2020.

Life is Dream was screened during Spanish Film Festival 2020

TV BROADCAST: November 11th 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we organised 2 online screenings with Q&A together with Instituto Cervantes and Casa Migrante in 2021.


 Presskit NL
 Presskit ENG

in the media
Interview met regisseur Vanesa Abajo Pérez in de Filmkrant
Interview met regisseur Vanesa Abajo Pérez voor
Vanesa Abajo Pérez in Trouw

Additional information
In co-production with KRO-NCRV.
With financial support of NPO Fund and AFK.

The script was developed during the IDFAcademy & NPO Fund workshop in 2017.

EDITING Xander Nijsten
MUSIC Juho Nurmela
GRADING Rachel Stone
PRODUCERS Judith Vreriks, Simone van den Broek (Basalt Film)
PR & DISTRIBUTION Sterre van der Spek