Mermaid (Russia)

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A young woman lives in a world of her own making after she decides to stop speaking in this bittersweet, whimsical tale from writer-director Anna Melikyan.

I was born in Armenia, in Yerevan, and moved to Moscow right after graduating from school. My way to filmmaking was a logical step -- actually I did it all my life, although I didn't know that it was directing. I made some shows at school even when I was in a kindergarten. We had a special part of class time that we called "Fairy Tales From Anna." All the children would sit in the circle and I was in the center of it, telling fairy tales. Now I'm doing the same thing, I'm telling fairy tales.

"Mermaid" is a very personal film. I can't say that it's absolutely autobiographical, it wouldn't be true, but it's still much related to me. The themes in "Mermaid" -- wish fulfillment, destiny, accidents and mystical happiness in our everyday life -- all of them are interesting for me. This is probably because these things actually happen. For example, I was in the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai (I was presenting "Mermaid" at the festival there), and I decided to change my plane tickets and come back home earlier. I just arrived in Moscow, and I turned on the TV and saw the terrible images of the hotel on fire, and how it was taken by terrorists. If I didn't change my tickets, I would have been there. Life is full of mystical coincidences.

The process of production on my film was complicated. "Mermaid" was stopped because of lack of financing. It was stopped for a half a year. But during that half-year I didn't waste my time, so when we began to shoot I was already pregnant -- and this was the greatest challenge.
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