A young girl falls overboard during a fishing expedition and experiences a meaningful undersea adventure in this stop motion animation: The Sea Is Blue by writer and director Vincent Peone. A myth about how the ocean got its color, Peone wrote the story for his sister Dina during a tragedy that his family faced together. From Short of the Week:

“The film’s metaphorical nature is very much intentional. Ten years ago Peone’s sister, Dina, was left badly burned from a fire that ravaged their childhood home. And, so, at Dina’s bedside—waiting for his sister to wake up from a drug-induced coma—Peone found comfort in writing. The resulting film is a poignant metaphor for what he thought might be going on in his sister’s mind while she lay in the hospital. As Peone writes in his director’s statement, “The short is very personal to me, and I care about it very much. It’s a story about loss, learning to appreciate what you have, and new beginnings. It gave me hope when I needed it.”

In the director’s statement, Peone also writes, “Dina did wake up. While it wasn’t a short road to recovery, she now leads a happy, healthy life. She’s a writer, and a great one at that!”

Related reading: The Stories That Bind Us.

Watch this next: Father and Daughter by Michaël Dudok De Wit. Plus: Motoi Yamamoto’s intricate, temporary salt installations, inspired by loss.

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