A young deckhand aboard a whaling ship learns how sailors earn the markings on their skin.

Spermaceti_Still03_Copyright Cinnamon Entertainment, Courtesy Jacky De Groen.jpg


Sailors kill time under a blistering sun, awaiting a sign of their prey. A young mind turns inwards as it traces the wood grain. After bloodshed, a strong arm offers a moment of shelter. A boy gets his first tattoo.

Spermaceti evokes the transitional space-time of a young man who finds himself on the threshold of an initiation. As we fluctuate between the underwater and the above, boundaries become slippery.

Directed, Written & Animated by Jacky De Groen
Produced by Sarah D’hanens
Associate Producer Barend Weyens
Original Music & Sound Design by Craig Sutherland
Re-recording Mixer & Additional Sound Design by Jef Aerts


  • Official Selection Adelaide Film Festival 2018, Australia

  • Official Selection TAF | Thessaloniki Animation Festival 2018, Greece

  • Official Selection PÖFF Shorts 2018, Estonia

  • Official Selection LIAF 2018, London

  • Official Selection International Short Film Festival Leuven 2018, Belgium

  • Official Selection FICA | Aguilar de Campoo International Short Film Festival 2018, Spain

  • Official Selection Festival Premiers Plans D’Angers 2019, France

  • Official Selection Moscow Shorts 2019, Russia

  • Official Selection ANIMA 2019, Belgium

  • Official Selection Athens Animfest 2019, Greece

  • Official Selection Mecal Pro 2019, Spain

  • Semi Finalist / Honorable Mention Columbus International Film & Animation Festival 2019, USA

  • Official Selection FilmFest Dresden, International Short Film Festival 2019, Germany

  • Official Selection Brussels Short Film Festival 2019, Belgium

  • Official Selection Australian International Animation Festival 2019, Australia

  • Official Selection ANIMAFEST Zagreb 2019, Croatia

  • Official Selection Palm Springs International ShortFest 2019, USA

    Nominee Best Animated Short

  • Official Selection MIAF 2019, Australia

  • Official Selection Cartoon Club 2019, Italy

  • Official Selection Insomnia International Open-Air Animation Film Festival 2019, Russia

  • Official Selection Animation NOW! - NZIFF 2019, New Zealand

  • Official Selection Lago Film Fest 2019, Italy

  • Official Selection La Guarimba International Film Festival 2019, Italy

  • Official Selection VQFF 2019, Canada

  • Official Selection SHORT to the Point International Film Festival 2019, Romania

    Best Animated Short Monthly Award

  • Official Selection Fantoche International Animation Film Festival 2019, Switzerland

  • Official Selection ANNY, Animation Nights New York 2019, USA

  • Official Selection International Animated Film Festival KROK 2019, Russia

  • Official Selection Ars Independent Festival 2019, Poland

  • Official Selection Dumbo Film Festival 2019, USA

    Best Animation Certificate of Excellence

  • Official Selection European Animated Film Festival BALKANIMA 2019, Serbia

  • Official Selection ANIM'EST International Animation Film Festival 2019, Romania

  • Official Selection PRIME THE ANIMATION! New Talent International Festival 2019, Spain

    Special Mention Best Animated Short

  • Official Selection TOFUZI International Animated Film Festival 2019, Georgia

    Best Experimental Film Nominee

  • Official Selection Sound And Vision International Film & Technology Festival 2019, USA

    in consideration for selection in other festivals



Jacky De Groen is an animation artist based in Ghent, Belgium. His colorfully painted and atmospheric films DIEPERIK (2013) and ECLIPSE (2014) have been shown at film festivals internationally including IndieLisboa, ANIMAFEST Zagreb, Ann Arbor Film Festival, GLAS Animation Festival, Japan Media Arts Festival, HAFF, MIAF and OIAFF, among others. After graduating from the School of Arts | University College Ghent (KASK) in 2014, he worked at animation studio Film Bilder in Stuttgart for some time. In 2016 he was invited as Animation Artist in Residence in Tokyo by JAPIC. SPERMACETI is Jacky’s first professional film.