WHALES by Nora Jaenicke Based on the award winning short film Whales the feature film


A feature film by Nora Jaenicke

When adult sisters Margot and Louise meet their mother Linda on the Island of Elba for their estranged father’s funeral, they unearth a painful, long-buried family secret.


Feedback from the 2018 Slamdance Screenplay Competition for the script of the feature film WHALES

This screenplay offers an emotionally compelling drama with vividly rendered characters, a strong sense of dramatic tension, and an intriguing family mystery that keeps the reader in suspense for the entire story. Margot is a likable, compelling protagonist, and her antagonistic sister Louise, loyal husband Johnny and flighty, selfish mother Linda are dimensional, layered characters, as well.

… Overall, this screenplay presents an enjoyably melancholy family drama and mystery in a visually lush setting, evoking the films of Antonioni.

The script has an appealingly melancholy tone filled with stillness and ennui, and in this way is reminiscent of Antonioni films from the 1960’s.

The nuances of the sisters’ subtle antagonisms toward each other provide ample drama, as does the gradual unfolding of the central mystery. The idyllic Elba Island setting gives a visually sumptuous backdrop to the story, and promises to make the film lovely to look at on screen.


creative team

Nora Jaenicke

Writer, Director & Producer

Akshay Chawla

Executive Producer

Yvonne Maria Schäfer


Jakob Creutzburg

Director of Photography