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My First Film From the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival; What a Way to Start!

Sea Sparkle (Zeevonk)


Genre: Family
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 38m
Director(s): Domien Huyghe
Writer(s): Domien Huyghe, Wendy Huyghe, Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem
Cast: Saar Rogiers, Hilde De Baerdemaeker, Valentijn Dhaenens, Sverre Rous, Dunia Elwaleed, Thibaud Dooms, Zouzou Ben Chikha, Sebastien Dewaele, Lynn Van Royen
Where To Watch: Premiering at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival

RAVING REVIEW: SEA SPARKLE is a magnificent coming-of-age story that takes the viewer on a journey filled with mystery, excitement, new friendships, and more. Set in the charming coastal city of Ostend, the film follows the tale of Lena, a young girl determined to uncover the truth behind her father's fate as a North Sea fisherman. Despite facing skepticism and doubt, Lena perseveres in her quest for answers and embarks on a journey that is both thrilling and heartwarming.

The film is directed by the talented Belgian filmmaker Domien Huyghe; with SEA SPARKLE, he creates a mesmerizing world that takes its audience seriously and immerses them in a tale filled with challenges from start to finish. While this is a family film, it pushes that genre to the limits, not in terms of anything inappropriate but with thematic questions that will make children question the world around them.

Shot on location in the birthplace of both the director and writer, Ostend, the film pays homage to the town and its people through its incorporation of local culture, dialect, and popular music among Belgian teenagers. This attention to detail elevates SEA SPARKLE and makes it a truly unique and captivating experience.

The lead, Lena, is brought to life by the young and talented Saar Rogiers. Despite her young age, Saar delivers a powerful and endearing performance, having undergone intensive training to master sailing, skating, and diving. Her dedication and hard work are evident in every film frame, making her portrayal of Lena convincing and relatable.

At its core, SEA SPARKLE is a story of loss, grief, and hope. It depicts a young girl's journey as she navigates the complexities of grieving and finds her way back. Despite its heavy themes, the film is filled with humor, excitement, and hope, making it an uplifting and inspiring experience for audiences of all ages.

In conclusion, SEA SPARKLE is a film that deserves recognition. Its captivating storyline, outstanding performances, and stunning visuals will impact audiences for years to come. SEA SPARKLE is a must-watch for a thought-provoking and entertaining film.

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[photo courtesy of THE PR FACTORY/A PRIVATE VIEW]

Chris Jones
Entertainment Editor

Chris Jones is the Mail Entertainment Editor covering Movies and Television topics. He is from Washington, Illinois, and is the owner, writer, and editor of Overly Honest Reviews.