West Empire



Remains from a vanished past, the ghost towns of the American West are full of stories and legends. West Empire is an immersion into the heart of these towns left behind after the mining era and in which a few people still persist to live today. In a setting of American deserts, these inhabitants live a timeless life with one priority: the search for freedom. Referring to their past, these men and women bring a strong testimony of their life experience. In the light of these atypical encounters, the film makes us think about how our modern society is governed, about time and the importance of living in the moment of Now.


Cinematographer, Director, Editor, Producer


Mathieu Le Lay Productions




Rock Novak
Walter Kremin
Daisy Reese
David Reese
Lily White


California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona (USA)


The Gentleman Losers Composed by Ville & Samu Kuukka – © Mute Song Ltd – With the authorization of Premiere Music Group

Mixing Studio

Gaïné Audio by Laurent Mollard


KissKissBankBank contributors

Official Film Festival selections

‣ 25th Arizona International Film Festival, USA
‣ 8th TRT Documentary Awards, Turkey
‣ Wales International Documentary Festival, UK
‣ XIII CRONOGRAF Festivalul International de Cinema Documentar, Moldova
‣ 10th High Desert International Film Festival, USA
‣ 56th Krakow Film Festival, Poland
‣ 18th FICA Festival Internacional de Cinema e Video Ambiental, Brazil
‣ 39th Festival de Cinéma Gouel Ar Filmou de Douarnenez, France
‣ Odense International Film Festival 2016, Denmark
‣ Docutah International Documentary Film Festival 2016, USA
‣ The Annual Valley Film Festival 2016, USA
‣ Festival Atmosphères 2016, France
‣ Szczecin European Film Festival 2016, Poland
‣ 33rd Tehran International Short Film Festival, Iran
‣ 16th Festival des Escales Documentaires de La Rochelle, France
‣ Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival - Curta Cinema 2016, Brazil
‣ 20th OFF Cinema Festive, Poland
‣ Jahorina Film Festival 2016, Bosnia-Herzegovina
‣ Dam Short Film Festival 2017, USA
‣ FiSH - Filmfestival im StadtHafen Rostock 2017, Germany


‣ Special Jury Award for Outstanding Cinematography – 25th Arizona International Film Festival, USA, 2016
‣ Best Short Film – XIII CRONOGRAF Festivalul International de Cinema Documentar, Moldova, 2016
‣ Best Cinematography – 10th High Desert International Film Festival, USA, 2016
‣ Best Short Documentary – The Annual Valley Film Festival, USA, 2016


Uni France
KuB - Kultur Bretagne

West Empire
West Empire
West Empire
West Empire
West Empire

“People who live in a place like this I’ve come from somewhere to get away from something.”