Our presumption is that Bola Ogun’s independent short film, The Water Phoenix draws inspiration from the beyond embarrassing ways Mermaids aka Mami Water have been portrayed in the Nigerian (African) film industry. That as well as the limited exploration of mermaids as movie figures.
The film shows Anya (played by Bola) a mermaid held captive in an aquarium. She falls out of love with her caretaker when he fails to fulfill his promise to set her free. Fueled by the heartbreak, she plots her escape before she is moved further away from the sea.
In her interview with Black Girl Nerds she explained the inspiration for the story:
“I was working through some personal things when it came to my relationships with men and what I thought it was supposed to be versus what it actually was.
For me, I found a way to harness that to make the story true, and essentially it’s just an allegory of somebody believing in the idea of someone coming to save them from whatever prison they’re in.”
She accurately followed an important rule of storytelling – be relatable.
The world premiere was held on August 10th 2017 at the LA Shorts Festival.
Watch the trailer here: