Under the Skin

The blue depths of the pool are her home. Keesje is a passionate synchronized swimmer and the big competition is just around the corner. However, when a fight erupts between the girls during the final rehearsal, everything changes. The subtle nuances between belonging and feeling marginalized come to the surface.

Under the skin tells the story of Keesje, a 15-year-old introvert. She and her friends, Lize and Dunja swim together in a synchronized swimming team. From the outside, it all looks like the perfect friendship, but behind the surface, constant tensions between the girls hide. Keesje is constantly afraid of being rejected and longs to maintain her position in the group. While the team is training for the NK Synchronized Swimming, Keesje tries to keep herself going within her group of friends. She gets carried away in the mean behavior of Lize and Dunja, but gradually becomes estranged from herself. While Liza and Dunja are good with words, Keesje’s strength is her physical. While the pressure of the competition increases, Keesje loses sight of who she is. She is constantly worried that she will lose. Although she tries to quell her frustrations, an outburst is the inevitable consequence.

Student short| Fiction | 00:18:02 | Themes: Coming of Age, Youth, Bullying, Girl Venom | 1.85: 1 | the Netherlands| Language: the Netherlands| Subtitles: Engels | Format: DCP, ProRes | Dolby 5.1 & Stereo LtRt

International premiere: Berlinale Generation Kplus, 2020.


  • Nederlands Filmfestival 2019, studentencompetitie, the Netherlands
  • Berlinale 2020, Generation Kplus, Germany.
  • Brussels Short Film Festival 2020, Next Generation Student Competition, Belgium.(postponed)
  • Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival 2020, Future Teens Competition, Germany(postponed)
  • Zlín Film Festival 2020, Zlín Dog Student Competition, Czech Republic.(postponed)
  • Omladisnki Film Festival 2020, Wolf Competition, Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
  • Ficbueu international short film festival 2020, International Schools of Cinema Section, Spain
  • DYTIATKO International Children’s Media Festival 2020, international competition, Ukraine.
  • Festival du Film Jeune de Lyon 2020, international short film competition, France.
  • Kaohsiung International Short Film Festival 2020, international short film competition, Taiwan.
  • Chicago International Children’s Film Festival 2020, international short film competition, US.
  • Winterthur International Short Film Festival 2020, SPARKS competition, Zwitserland.
  • Cinekid Film Festival 2020, Dutch Live-Action Competition, The Netherlands. 🏆
  • Filmfestival Tegenstroom 2020, opstromers competition, the Netherlands(postponed).
  • Calcutta int. short film festival 2020, international competition, India. 🏆
  • Cinema in Sneakers 2020, int. Children short film competition, Poland. 🏆
  • CinemaJove 2020, international short film competition, Spain.
  • Internationaal Filmfestival Assen 2021, KersVers competitie, the Netherlands
  • New York’s international Children’s Film Festival 2021, international short competition, U.S.


  • Wildcard Award twv € 50.000, Nederlands Filmfestival 2019, Nederland.
  • Beste Nederlands Kort Live-Action Film, Cinekid Filmfestival 2020, Nederland.
  • Best Editing, Calcutta int. short film festival 2020, India.
  • Best Film, Cinema in Sneakers 2020, Poland.


Client: Emma Branderhorst
Date: September 1, 2019
Services: Festival distribution & Strategy