Set during an unspecified period of the 1970s, North Sea Texas is a coming-of-age romance directed by acclaimed short filmmaker Bavo Defurne, making his feature-length debut. Based on a novel by Belgian children’s author Andre Sollie, the film follows Pim (Jelle Florizoone), an introverted teenager who lives with his ex-beauty queen mother in a small coastal town.
Dreaming of a loving father who will someday come for him, but never does, Pim brightens up his days by drawing, dreaming up fantasy lives and expressing his emerging desires through a secret collection of “borrowed” objects that he keeps in a shoebox. He’s also fallen in love with Gino (Mathias Vergels), the charismatic, motorcycle-riding older boy next door.
As things become fraught at home, Pim starts spending more and more time with Gino and his family. The two boys soon become closer than ever – and though Gino returns Pim’s affections, he insists that they keep their relationship a secret. When a girl catches Gino’s eye and he moves away, it leaves Pim feeling more alone than ever. But, as time goes by, the true depth of their feelings for one another are revealed.
Though not without its heartbreaks, North Sea Texas is an ultimately uplifting film that explores burgeoning sexuality through a refreshingly honest and optimistic lens. And with numerous award-winning short films under his belt, director Bavo Defurne knows what to do with his camera. Capturing the beauty and color of the film’s setting, North Sea Texas offers up an almost other-worldly, fairy tale vibe that compliments the tricky romance at the film’s core.