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
Original Music & Sound Design by Craig Sutherland
Re-recording Mixer & Additional Sound Design by Jef Aerts
Produced by Sarah D’hanens
Associate Producer Barend Weyens


  • 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 ANIMA 2019, Belgium

    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. After graduating from the School of Arts | 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.