Sea that thinks

(voor Nederlandse versie zie onder menu-item ‘Gert de Graaff’)

Order the DVD of The Sea That Thinks with a load of extra’s

Thought by the sea

Once upon a time there was a sea.
Sea lived in a happy and natural state
of wetness and waves.
One morning, out of the blue,
sea thought she was a tree.
This idea lasted for ever.
Sea was no longer happy.

It is holiday time.
As every year, I swim in this sea.
When I dive in, sea asks me:-
“Friend, you’ve known me a long time.
I’m a big tree, but something is wrong.
What should I do to be as happy
as when you first swam in me?”
What should sea do
to become water again?
“Nothing, of course,” I answered.
“Just let go of the illusion
that you are a tree.”


The Sea That Thinks is a surprising film about itself. A film brimming with twists and turns and new angles. It focuses on Bart, a scriptwriter who is writing the script for this film. In the film, Bart himself plays the scriptwriterwriting the script of The Sea That Thinks. He types what he does and does what he types. Everything he writes becomes reality.
In his film, he finds the answer to the urgent question: How do we become happy? He uses stunning examples to show us that our world is only to be found in our consciousness. What is real and what is illusion? Do we believe in our dream world while we dream? Do we believe in the reality of film while we see it? And why? His combination of pictures and text has a hypnotic effect on the viewer. It provides an exciting, dislocating and fun-filled adventure.
Then it becomes apparent that the film is not about this tormented scriptwriter at all. In a game filled with optical illusions and continually changing points of view, the surprised viewers gradually find out they are looking at themselves: how do I observe? What do I assume to be true? What do I think I see? What do I think I am? The viewer turns out to bear a striking similarity to the Sea that thinks it’s a Tree.


  • Don’t think of an elephant now
  • I don’t exist.
  • Remember: forget everything!
  • Somnething inside your head is looking at your thoughts
  • Do you think you now what you are? Forget it!
  • What do you think you see? What do you think you are?


Incredible (optical) illusions in a story in a story in a story helps the surprised viewer finally to find out that he has been watching himself all along.


more information:

Here you find an extensive interview I did recently with Indian Television

Shown at festivals

  • IDFA Amsterdam
  • Rotterdam International Film festival,
  • Berlinale (Berlijn), official selection for Panorama section
  • It’s all true – São Paolo – Brasil
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul’s Int. Film festival -Unites States of America
  • Philadelphia Int. Film festival – Unites States of America
  • Karlovy Vary Int. Film festival – Czech Republic
  • Art Fiction festival -Teplice & Bratislava – Slovakia
  • Dahlonega (D.I.F.F. Award) – Unites States of America
  • International Film festival of Kerala – India
  • ‘Message to Man’ St. Petersburg – Russia
  • International Film festival Moscow – Russia
  • International Film festival Stuttgart – Germany
  • European Media Art festival Osnabrueck – Germany
  • International Documentary Film festival Pärnu – Sweden
  • Rhode Island International Film festival (Grand Prix) – Unites States of America
  • Wine country – Glenn Ellen International Film festival – Unites States of America
  • Zakynthos Int. Film festival – Greece
  • Umea Int. Documentary Film festival – Estonia
  • Dutch Film festival – Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • Haifa Int. festival festival – Israel
  • Cairo Int. festival festival – Egypt
  • Warschau Int. Film festival – Poland
  • Gent Int. Film festival – Belgium
  • Mostra di Valencia – Spain
  • Kalamata Int. Film festival – Greece
  • Vermont Int. Film festival – Unites States of America
  • Odissea nas imagens, Porto – Portugal
  • Pusan – South-Korea
  • Festival dei Populi, Firenze – Italy
  • Mannheim – Germany
  • Jihlava – Czech Republic
  • Warschau (Nederlands film festival) – Poland
  • Int. Film Festival Cleveland – Unites States of America
  • Cinequest – Unites States of America
  • filmseminair – Israel
  • Güterloh, Bambikino – Denmark
  • Torun Young European Cinema festival – Poland
  • Wiesbaden Film Institut – Germany
  • European Institute of Cinema Karlsruhe – Germany
  • Serpa – Portugal
  • Arizona School of fine Arts – Unites States of America
  • Wild Cinema Windhoek International Film Festival – Namibia
  • Damascus – Syria


main price JORIS IVENS AWARD – IDFA – amsterdam
Golden Key Award for Best Camera – Art Film Festival, Teplice, Slovakia
Special F.I.C.C. Jury Award – Art Film Festival, Teplice, Slovakia
Experimental Feature DIFF Award – Dahlonega International Film Festival
Grand Prix Best Experimental Feature – Rhode Island International Film Festival
Best First Feature Film Award – Wine Country International Film Festival
Nomination of the European Film Academy for ‘Fassbinder Price’



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Price €15,- (+ €4,- for shippingcosts)


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