The Mermaid of Haven Bay

Created by Henry Steedman, The Pitch 2017

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The Mermaid of Haven Bay is a fantasy drama about the salvation of two brothers. Rowan and Judd are Cornish fishermen who catch a Mermaid just before a storm hits their boat. Rowan, the older brother, is driven by money and wants to sell the Mermaid. Judd is a dreamer, stuck in a job he doesn't love - he wants to set her free. The Mermaid acts as a divine messenger - she can’t speak, but communicates by singing about the imminent loss of their ship, and of their ultimate salvation. The conflict that arises from deciding what to do with her drives the story. While Judd understands the message from the song, Rowan ignores it. They run aground as she predicts, and Rowan is knocked overboard. Although he held the Mermaid prisoner, she still dives down to save him when released by Judd. The ship sinks and Judd jumps overboard, heading for the sandy bay from the Mermaid’s vision. Meanwhile, she brings Rowan to the surface right next to Judd, who then manages to get them both to shore. Looking out to sea, they glimpse their saviour one last time - with the direction of their lives changed forever.

Biblical Connection

This is based on Paul's Shipwreck (Acts 27) where God’s messenger, Paul, foretells the survival of all the prisoners and their Roman captors during a terrible storm, even though their boat will sink. The Romans are characterised here by Rowan, and the one sympathetic Centurion, Julius, is represented by Judd. Though ultimately about salvation, the film also explores the wider notion of faith. The Romans refuse to believe the word of God through Paul - so by replacing Paul with a Mermaid, we present a seemingly mythical creature, who’s message could easily be dismissed by those who are unwilling to open their minds to anything they don’t understand. We also display the greatest tenet of Christianity – kindness to those in need. The idea of helping another, even though they may be completely different, has immediate parallels with the world today, not least in the Mediterranean. Lastly, we show God’s mercy, for in the Bible (and specifically in this story) He not only saves those who believe and trust His word, but also those that sin against Him. And although the messages are sincere, the tone can still have lightness of touch. We are dealing with a Mermaid after all.