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Return of the Näcken

The Return of the Näcken is a gothic horror tale about a lonely water demon and their quest for human souls.

  • Cassandra Sechler
    Director
    Lovesick (2018), Chained (2015), Wireboy (2013), Lovey (2011), Belle Nouveau (2010)
  • Cassandra Sechler
    Writer
    Lovesick (2018), Dolly Deadly (co-writer, 2016)Chained (2015), Wireboy (2013), Lovey (2011), Belle Nouveau (2010)
  • Dreams For Dead Cats Productions
    Producer
    Lovesick (2018), Elliot (2017), Chained (2015), Wireboy (2013), Lovey (2011), Belle Nouveau (2010)
  • Cassandra Sechler
    Key Cast
    Lovesick (2018), Elliot (2017), Chained (2015), Wireboy (2013), Lovey (2011), Belle Nouveau (2010)
  • Craig Jacobson
    Composer
    Lovesick (2018), Elliot (2017), Chained (2015), Wireboy (2013), Lovey (2011), Belle Nouveau (2010)
  • Craig Jacobson
    Camera Operator
    Lovesick (2018), Elliot (2017), Chained (2015), Wireboy (2013), Lovey (2011), Belle Nouveau (2010)
  • Project Type:
    Short, Other
  • Genres:
    horror, fantasy, erotic horror, scifi, underground, weird
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 15, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Cassandra Sechler

Cassandra Sechler also known as the “Mistress of the Weird and the Wonderful,” is a conceptual artist based in San Francisco, California.

Her background and interest is in fine art photography and psychology, which aids in providing her viewer with expressionistic works that are both personal and poetic. The nature of gender, sexuality, identity, dreams, technological infrastructure, and her place within them are often the main focus of her work as a visual artist.

Sechler received her BA at San Francisco State University in 2009 and since has been a curator, writer, actress, and director at Dreams For Dead Cats Productions LLC (DDCP), a San Francisco based DIY production team run by herself and filmmaker/musician Craig Jacobson. Together they express their visions by any means necessary through a variety of media, specializing in photography, film and video, editing, music, sound design, sculpture, make-up, graphic design, and more, aiming to provide exposure to non commercial artists’ endeavors worldwide.

In addition to Sechler’s work at DDCP, she has been lead curator for the Dimensions, Mindscapes, and Technophobia International Film Festivals, which toured the US. In 2013, Sechler was chosen as a juror and host at the 4th Annual Mascara and Popcorn Film Festival (Montreal) as well at the 2nd Annual SLED Shorties Film Festival in San Leandro, CA, and was also a juror for the 4th and 5th annual Ax Wound Film Festival in Brattleboro, Vermont. Sechler continues to organize and host underground film nights and exhibit her artwork in the bay area and beyond.

Between 2008 and 2018, Sechler has completed over 12 short films, including the celebrated Belle Nouveau (2010), Lovey (2011), Wireboy (2013), Chained (2015), and Lovesick (2018) which have been screened internationally and received high acclaim. Sechler was co-writer and first Assistant Director for Heidi Moore’s feature film Dolly Deadly (2016) and Elliot (assistant director,/makeup artist/actor 2017), with The Return of the Nacken (writer, director, producer, actor, makeup artist 2023).

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Director Statement

The Return of the Näcken at heart is a gothic fairytale and love letter to storytelling and mythology. It is a dark, surreal, fantastical journey into the life of this forlorn creature who must feast on human souls to survive, introducing a new spin to traditional water demon myths. In this film I explore the unforgiving nature of mortality, the cruelty and loneliness of immortality, the sensuality of death, and the pain of being a monster.