A black mermaid. I don't think I've ever seen one which makes this project pretty remarkable. The Water Phoenix is about "empowerment and rising above heartbreak" and the few descriptions I've seen leave much to the imagination in a positive fashion.
AFI Directing Workshop for Women 2014 alum Bola Ogun (production assistant on films like Insidious: Chapter 2) has always been into supernatural films but wanted to skew away from the types of creatures that are currently everywhere in the pop culture market. By presenting a mermaid that isn't "campy," "animated," or too preoccupied with marriage, Ogun has created a character that's a bit darker which implies a more serious tone.
She also addresses the issue that by making a thoughtful, well-rounded character that encompasses the infinite range of human emotion, that character's race, while still extremely important in reflection of reality, will be secondary to an engaging piece.
I'm pretty salty that I didn't get a chance to support and share this during The Water Phoenix's Indiegogo campaign, but from checking out the Facebook page with a lot of updates and behind-the-scenes production photos, you can still donate towards making this film the best it can be!
Bola is also on Twitter @WaterPhoenix5