TIAN Xiapeng, China 2023
Filmmaker TIAN Xiapeng and his 3D Animation production team develop an unusual CG-animation technique based around particles, creating 3D images from abstract Chinese ink paintings. They bring to life a whimsical tale of the sea with mesmerizing animation to tell the story of misfits who long for a sense of belonging in DEEP SEA.
A young girl, Shenxiu embarks on a family cruise with her father, stepmother, and her new baby sibling. Shenxiu is mourning the loss of her beloved mother and tries to adjust to a new family dynamic; but feels displaced and unwanted, as much as she tries to do everything in her power to please her father and his new wife. The longing to experience the love from her mother again only intensifies her deep sadness. She feels abandoned and lost without her mother's love.
Shenxiu finds solace on the slow-moving cruise ship when standing on its deck looking out at the sea wondering why her mother had to leave.
A sudden storm brews and the ship is tossed, mightily throwing Shenxiu overboard. She cries for help, but no one hears her plea. Exhausted from battling the waves, her body goes limp. Her eyes close. Shenxiu sinks slowly into the deep sea. The sea illuminates, as she descends and her eyes open to gaze upon a bright and beautiful underground sea restaurant. The active chef welcomes Shenxiu into his magical world. In the DEEP SEA Shenxiu begins a journey toward her destiny, part in a dream and part reality, hoping to discover her true identity and to find the love of family she once knew.