Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday July 28, 2020 


Two years in the making, this documentary features a spectacular array of Australian sea creatures, filmed in their natural habitats at locations around the Australian coastline from Kangaroo Island (South Australia) to the Coral Sea. Many of the creatures captured on film are rare, and all are unique in some way. Exotic, bizarre, spikes, sponges and gliding fantasies – like aliens from another planet. The film has also won awards at the New York International Film Festival and theInternational Wildlife Film Festival in Montana (2000).

"Rightly enough, the narration recalls Artrhur C. Clarke’s observation that the Earth is perhaps misnamed, since it is largely ocean. And what mysteries the ocean holds – as we have seen a countless times before. Yes, but not like this, with some of the most exotic creatures right here on our doorstep, as it were. Achtel, using specially devised lighting equipment and enormous patience, has also utilised his great sensitivity to bring us images of these creatures that are captured in a benign, almost spiritual style. Exceptional moments include extended images of the rarely seen leafy sea dragon, which resembles a cross between a floating, shredded coat and a misformed stag; a giant Australian cuttlefish; a rarely seen Australian sea lion frolicking; seahorses, manta rays and dozens more. It is accompanied by unintrusive narration and Reid’s harmony-driven score. Anyone who has ventured underwater (with snorkel or SCUBA) will cherish the work, and those haven’t are in for an eye-opener. It’s an adventure without stress, a sublime exploration of amazing life, out of our day to day experience."
Andrew L. Urban

"A magical and breathtaking experience, watching Aliens of The Sea is like snorkelling in your lounge room. Just as Microcosmos dazzled us with the world's minute creatures, Aliens of The Sea bewitches us with the wonder of nature's extraordinary sea life. Many of the creatures we meet look as though they could have come out of a child's imagination and sculpted in plasticine or came off a fancy dress parade. Vivid colours and exotic shapes of creatures you could only dream about are beautifully photographed, while we listen to soothing strains of musical harmonies. As the title implies, this world beneath, filled with diverse and complex elements, must surely be the inspiration for spaceships, innovative design and imbues with the sensation of calm. The beautiful living corals, the thick lipped fish with a soulful expressions, the multi-coloured creatures that slink, flip and glide in the calm of this silent watery world – we can only gasp in amazement and humbly feel grateful that we too are a part of this wondrous world. This is a superb production that inspires and fascinates. There's a new discovery every single second: I was mesmerized from start to finish. An oasis in this frenetic world of speed and stress, Aliens of the Sea is a must for anyone with a curiosity about life. Congratulations to Pawel Achtel on this remarkable achievement! But don't take my word, see it for yourself!"
Louise Keller

Email this article

Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0




SCRIPT: Andrew Ford

2ND EDITOR, CO-DIRECTOR: Michael Wooller

NARRATOR: Tim Elliott

MUSIC: Gordon Reid

RUNNING TIME: 50 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 16, 2000 in Melbourne only


1st Prize, Gold Camera Award, 33rd International Film and Video Festival in Chicago, 2000;


(can also buy DVD $35.95 or VHS $32.95 online)

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020