Last Days at Sea

Letzte Tage am Meer
“When they grow big, they leave the shells they are in. And then, the shell they’ve left behind … a smaller crab will find it and it will become its home.”

Twelve-year-old Reyboy will soon be leaving his home village of Karihatag to attend school in the city. He loves the sea, the constant sound of waves in his ears and looking towards the wide horizon stretching out before his eyes. The small community in which his family lives, stoically endures the challenges of poverty, overfishing and rural exodus. Despite Reyboy’s pending departure, his parents hope that by saying goodbye, they will give him the opportunity to have a better future. Venice Atienza closely accompanies the boy during this time and together they become immersed in the place of his childhood. They observe the stars and the rhythms of the ocean, decipher cloud images and experience time standing still. The lyrical composition of words and images profoundly cast light on Reyboy’s point of view.
by Venice Atienza
with John Russel Rey „Reyboy“ Paño, Cresente „Buboy“ Betonio, Cleofe „Neneng“ Betonio, Florecita „Babe“ Paño, Emibie Paño
Philippines / Taiwan 2021 Tagalog, Cebuano 71’ Colour Documentary form recommendation: 8 years and up

Part of the Berlinale Summer Special


  • John Russel Rey „Reyboy“ Paño (Reyboy)
  • Cresente „Buboy“ Betonio (Buboy)
  • Cleofe „Neneng“ Betonio (Neneng)
  • Florecita „Babe“ Paño (Babe)
  • Emibie Paño (Emibie)


Director Venice Atienza
Cinematography Venice Atienza, Moshe Ladanga
Editing Anna Magdalena Silva-Schlenker, Katrin Escay
Music Yannick Dauby
Sound Design Yannick Dauby
Production Manager Clariz Labadlabad
Producers Venice Atienza
Co-Producers Fan Wu, Moshe Ladanga, Katrin Escay
Co-Production Svemirko Audio Visual Art Productions Taoyuan
Ninjadog Studios Marikina

Produced by

Venice Atienza

The Filipino documentary filmmaker was born in 1989. In her work, she is particularly interested in examining how transformations in life can be effected by mundane everyday actions. An alumna of the European Doc Nomads programme, she co-founded Svemirko Film Productions with Taiwanese director and producer Fan Wu in order to create a platform for author-driven documentary films. Last Days at Sea is her first feature-length film.


2015 Boa, Tarde Senhor Lima; short film 2017 Bakter | The Track Changer; short film 2021 Last Days at Sea

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021