My Brother is a Mermaid
My Brother is a Mermaid is a social realist fairytale about a transgender teenager, as seen through the eyes of their 7 year old brother. Set in a desolate and prejudiced coastal town, the film examines how a child's unconditional love can be an empowering and disruptive force for good.
Iris Prize Best of British
"Alfie Dale directs a remarkable cast who convey a beautiful blend of emotions. The viewer is pulled into the intimate world of Kuda, who watches as his sibling Kai journeys through finding the confidence to embrace their non-binary identity. Alfie’s direction is sensitive and compassionate, pulling at the heartstrings without ever being overly sentimental. He takes us on a journey of character growth and development across twenty minutes that more accomplished directors too often fail to do in two hours. Quite simply, outstanding".
"This beautiful short film tells us a story about the magic of sibling intimacy in a hostile world. All the judges agreed that the performances by the younger actors were outstanding. The directors use of the younger siblings POV was an innovative way to tell a story about a gender diverse older sibling. The subtle references to magic realism put queer identities in the realm of the uncanny".
Little White Lies Magazine - "Alfie Dale’s endearing effort in magic realism earned the unprecedented honour of scooping the Best British Short prize alongside the category’s audience and youth jury awards. That triple-crown glory is an apt indication of this sensitive portrait’s likely crossover appeal: a tender outlook on childhood innocence and unconditional love, it’s told from the perspective of a seven year old as his older sibling comes out as transgender. Experienced in the depiction of marginalised communities from a prior short set among the Roma community, Dale – himself cis – took care to cast a trans actor in the lead role and worked extensively with charity Mermaids to ensure a faithful portrait of trans youth experience. The result is a gorgeous short as steadfast in its representative resolve as it is singular in its empathetic importance".
Purple Heather - Trailer
Synopsis: When the local authority outlaws the free movement of Romani Gypsies in the forest, EVA and her young siblings are forced to abandon their life of independence and seclusion, and move into an overcrowded, communal compound. The story is told from the point of view of Eva’s youngest sister, HELENA – a curious and defiant eight year old, who observes and learns from Eva’s every expression.
Purple Heather was shot on an Arri Alexa on location in the New Forest. It's thanks to the astounding support of the local community, who were deeply involved in the making of the film made. From lending us an Alpaca farm for our main location, to providing countless props and costumes, to lending us horses, catering tools and portaloos, to performing as extras, and of course helping us raise the crowdfunded budget. This was a truly community made film.
Purple Heather won 'Best British Short Film' at Southampton International Film Festival, and has been nominated for 3 other awards.
Director: Alfie Dale
Writers: Sameera Steward and Alfie Dale
Producers - Sameera Steward, Tumi Itholeng and Alfie Dale
DOP - Davey Guilder
Costume Designer/HOD - Sophia Audi
Hair and Make Up Designer/HOD - Lisa Purchase