Over the course of two years in California City, a huge, eerie planned city in the desert that is cut off from Los Angeles by a mountain range, Victoria unfolds, en passant, a city map that eludes orientation: we see time passing, sandy streets being tended to, kids on their way to school and hanging out. Out of documentary images and phone videos taken by Warren, the protagonist, virtual views and a voiceover of his diary entries, an image of the city and a city of images are formed in parallel. The construction of reality becomes visible here, as does its potential for the poetic: a turtle race in the desert sand, fountains that gush from burst pipes, memories of Los Angeles surfacing during a virtual stroll with Google Maps, black holes as gateways to another galaxy.
by Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Isabelle Tollenaere
with Lashay T. Warren, Sharleece Bourne, Mark Martinez, Ernest Dove, Markiece Glover, Elliot Lacey
Belgium 2020 English 71’ Colour Documentary form


  • Lashay T. Warren
  • Sharleece Bourne
  • Mark Martinez
  • Ernest Dove
  • Markiece Glover
  • Elliot Lacey


Director Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Isabelle Tollenaere
Cinematography Isabelle Tollenaere
Editing Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Isabelle Tollenaere
Music Lashay Warren, Annelies Van Dinter
Sound Design Kwinten Van Laethem
Sound Liesbeth De Ceulaer
Producer Bo De Group

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Sofie Benoot

Born in Bruges, Belgium in 1985. She completed a master’s degree in Audiovisual Arts, specialising in Documentary Film, at the LUCA School of Arts in Brussels. She now teaches there. Her films are patchworks of different stories, which are carefully puzzled together to reveal hidden connections.


2007 Fronterismo; 40 min. 2010 Blue Meridian; 80 min. 2014 Desert Haze; 110 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020

Liesbeth De Ceulaer

Born in Diest, Belgium in 1985. Her films explore the tense and complex relationship between man and his environment. These cinematic explorations lead into captivating worlds, in which documentary and fiction are in continuous exchange.


2008 The Best Act on the Isle; 35 min. 2013 Behind the Redwood Curtain; 70 min. 2018 Er Was Eens; 52 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020

Isabelle Tollenaere

Born in Gent, Belgium in 1984. She is an independent filmmaker, making films that playfully move between the codes and conventions of documentary and fiction, film and contemporary art. Her work deals with the connections between the current shifts in reality and the memory of the past.


2007 Stil Leven; 17 min. 2010 Trickland; 18 min. 2011 Viva Paradis; 17 min. 2015 Battles; 88 min. 2018 The Remembered Film; 17 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020