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Crowdfund This: Syrenka: Legend of the Warsaw Mermaid

Animation and fairy tales and folklore are closely tied together in the public imagination. Most famously in Disney films, of course, but they also inspire many international and independent films and series. Syrenka: Legend of the Warsaw Mermaid is an example of the latter.

Described as a hand-drawn feminist fantasy/drama inspired by the legend of the Warsaw Mermaid, it's the brainchild of Ottawa, Canada-based animator Tina Nawrocki. Nawrocki's credits include animating on the acclaimed video game Cuphead, Netflix's Green Eggs and Ham and Space Jam: A New Legacy. But she has always dreamed about making her own 2D animated film.

To help make it a reality, she has turned to crowdfunding via Indie GoGo. 

The film is inspired by the polish folk tales that Nawrocki grew up with. The short film centers on the historic "symbol of Polish identity and resilience", the Warrior Mermaid of Warsaw, "framed through a Canadian feminist lens". On the banks of the Vistula River, a mermaid and a bar matron face off against gendered power. Through an emblematic clash with a young fisherman, "they tear at the net of prevailing sexism".


 The film will be animated traditionally, frame-by-frame hand-drawn on paper. As director and lead animator, Nawrocki aims to pay tribute to Disney's Golden Age by making the film the old-fashioned way.

The film has attracted an impressive team. As a story based around female empowerment, Nawrocki has built a diverse team of women and gender non-conforming individuals. The team includes family, friends and previous and new collaborators. The funding secured through the campaign will ensure that the artists are able to be paid fairly for their work.

The film will display a sense of timeless, painterly beauty. It's a story of old problems that unfortunately are still with us today. As the plot revolves around a creature of the water, water will be a big part of the film's visual style.The director is also greatly influenced by the Polish Art Nouveau movement

The project seeks a minimum of $50,000 CA. Perks start at $10 CA for a digital download and a listing on the website, but $20 CA will net you a digital download of the finished film. Other rewards include digital artbooks, custom art, soundtracks, all the way up to an Executive Producer credit.

If you want to help make the short film a reality, head over to the campaign page now, or visit the film's website for more information.