EN - Ostend's Ibis is a boarding school for boys who come from troubled homes or who have behavioural problems. They eat together, sleep together and all wear the same uniform. Because their home lives lacked structure, the school tries to provide them with an environment where norms and conventions are clearly defined. The youngest group of boys give their personal and often naïve impressions of the school and of their own homes.

FR - L’Ibis d’Ostende est un internat pour garçons qui viennent de familles à problème et ont des problèmes de comportements. Beaucoup de ces enfants manquent de l’une des choses les plus importantes pendant l’enfance : la chaleur d’un foyer, mais ensemble, ils forment une communauté. Ils mangent ensemble, dorment ensemble, et portent tous le même uniforme marin. Etant donné que leur foyer manque le plus souvent de structure, l’école essaie de leur procurer un environnement dans lequel les normes et les conventions sont clairement définies. Les garçons les plus jeunes donnent leurs impressions personnelles le plus souvent innocentes sur l’école et sur leur propre maison. Même si chacun d’eux a sa propre histoire, ils ont aussi une histoire en commun.


Title Children of the Sea
Original title Les enfants de la mer/mère
Original language Dutch
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Shorts
Year 2010


Photography Annabel Verbeke and An-Marie Breem
Editing Katrijn Declercq
Music Brugs Vocaal Ensemble

Technical specs

Running time film 27'
Release format Beta Digit
Aspect ratio 1:1.85
Sound format Gedeon Depauw
Colour Colour



2011: Sehsüchte Festival (Potsdam) (D) / Berlinaire Festival (BE) / Brussels Shortfilmfestival (BE) / Docville (BE) / Doc Market Visions du Réel (CH) /  Doc Market Clermont-Ferrand (F) /  Doc Market Sheffield Docfest (UK)

2010: Filmfestival Oostende (BE) / Het Grote Ongeduld (BE) /  IDFA (NL) /  Leuven Kort (BE) / Festimages Charleroi (BE) / Doxa Documentary Festival(CA) /


2011: Grand prize of the jury - Festimages, Charleroi (BE) / Best short documentary under 30 minutes, Sehsüchte - Potsdam (D) /  Best short documentary - Kavalan Shortfilm festival (TW) / Kid's land archive award - Kavalan Shortfilm festival (TW) / Sedicicorto - Special mention (IT) / Etudia & Anima- FICC award - Krakow (PL) /  Third place – Cilect (association of the world’s major film and television schools)

2010: Canvas Lichtpunt Prize - Het grote ongeduld, Brussels (BE) / VAF Wildcard - Kortfilmfestival, Leuven (BE)

Flanders Four at Sedicicorto

Four Flemish titles are screened at the eighth edition of the Sedicicorto International Film Festival (3 – 9 October) in Italy. Land of the HeroesNa Wéwé and Children of the Sea will participate in various competitions, with Injury Timebeing shown out of competition. The films were selected out of 4,404 submitted pictures representing 107 countries.

Still from Land of the HeroesAt the eighth Sedicicorto International Film Festival 145 films will be projected: 113 in competition, 30 out of  competition and two special docs. Land of the Heroes as well as Na Wéwé are selected for the major competition at the festival, including 51 international fiction shorts.

Published on Thursday 22 September 2011

Best documentary for Children of the Sea

Annabel Verbeke’s Children of the Sea won the Best Documentary Short Film award as well as the Kid's Land Archive Award at the Kavalan International Short Film Festival (20 – 28 August). Earlier Children of the Sea already won an award for Best Documentary Film at the Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival in Potsdam.

Still from 'Children of the Sea'Documentary filmmaker Annabel Verbeke closely follows the children at the Ibis school, an all boys boarding school for troubled children. These children are missing an important childhood element – family warmth – but together they form a strong community. Because at home structure is often lacking, the school provides them with clearly defined norms and conventions. Verbeke shows the youngest group of boys who give their impressions of the school and their private lives. These separate narratives make one big story.

Published on Monday 29 August 2011

Shanghai selects Flanders trio

Kadir Balci’s feature debut Turqauze and Alex Stockman’s Pulsar have been selected for the Panorama section at this year’s 14th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF, 11-19 June). Annabel Verbeke’s VAF Wildcard-winning graduation doc Children of the Sea is also invited. All three titles have already toured the international festival circuit, with stops at destinations such as Hong Kong, Locarno, Montréal, Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

Still from Kadir Balci's TurquazeIn Pulsar, Samuel waves goodbye to his girlfriend when she leaves Belgium for a prestigious internship in New York city. Shortly after, his computer gets hacked. And when the mysterious hacker seems to be intentionally screwing up Samuel’s life and his relationship, paranoia kicks in. In Turquaze three brothers return to Belgium after having buried their father in Istanbul. They resume their lives but need to find a new balance. While Ediz plays the dominant father and Bora does silly things with the wrong friends, Timur tries to fulfil his father’s dream: playing the trumpet in a brass band. In Children of the Sea, Annabel Verbeke closely follows the lifes of the children at the Ibis school, established about a century ago to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Published on Friday 10 June 2011

Children of the Sea wins at Sehsüchte

Annabel Verbeke's Children of the Sea has won the Award for Best Documentary Film under 30 minutes at the 40th edition of the Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival (2-8 May).

In Children of the Sea, Verbeke closely follows the life of the children at the Ibis school, established about a century ago to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Beginning in September, when the smallest boys were moving in, she visited the school at least once a week for six months. Her images of everyday life are mixed with portraits of the boys, and inter-cut with archive footage that shows how little things have changed.

Published on Friday 13 May 2011

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Last edited on 4 July 2014

Short info

Director Annabel Verbeke

Annabel Verbeke

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