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.

Rock Novak, Ballarat, CA
Daisy Reese, Darwin, CA
David Reese, Darwin, CA
J, Darwin, CA
Lily White, Goldfield, NV
Walter Kremin, Gold Point, NV

Director: Mathieu Le Lay
Cinematography: Mathieu Le Lay
Additional cinematography: Caroline Lessire
Editing: Mathieu Le Lay
Sound: Mathieu Le Lay & Caroline Lessire
Music: The Gentleman Losers
Composed by Ville & Samu Kuukka – © Mute Song Ltd – With the authorization of Premiere Music Group
Sound mixing: Laurent Mollard – Gaïné Audio
Color grading: Mathieu Le Lay
Graphic design: Larisa Oltean
Production: KissKissBankBank & Mathieu Le Lay

Film shot in the Southwestern US: California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona.







Official film festival selections
25th Arizona International Film Festival, USA
8th TRT Documentary Awards, Turkey
Wales International Documentary Festival, UK
10th High Desert International Film Festival, USA
56th Krakow Film Festival, Poland
18th FICA Festival Internacional de Cinema e Video Ambiental, Brazil
39ème 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
16ème Festival des Escales Documentaires de La Rochelle, France
33rd Tehran International Short Film Festival, Iran
Curta Cinema 2016, Brazil
20th OFF Cinema Festiv, Poland

© Mathieu Le Lay Productions – 2015