Private Project

There Are Mermaids in LA

THERE ARE MERMAIDS IN LA follows Cassie. Bored of her relationship. Having mediocre orgasms. Trying desperately to reupholster a lamp because why not? “It might be the first step towards sewing patchy jeans or something.”

But one day Cassie’s boat is rocked by a mysterious silent visitor. A woman. With long, fire-engine red hair and almost no discernible personality or clothes. We’ll call her Mermaid. Because, as the legend goes, she made a bad trade somewhere down the line, swapped her voice out for legs, and then wound up in the wrong place. The place being this woman's beach...

RIP the prince.

As Mermaid makes herself comfortable in Cassie’s home, the two women begin to form an unlikely bond. The game is simple: Cassie talks and Mermaid listens. Until they both get sick of it.

  • Jamie Loftus
    Key Cast
    Teenage Euthanasia; Human Kind Of; Robot Chicken; Funny or Die Presents; Super Deluxe
  • Taylor Carr
    Key Cast
    Cafe Society
  • Tae Hee Chang
    Key Cast
  • Summer Benowitz
  • Summer Benowitz
  • Summer Benowitz
  • Matthew Marder
  • Dan Leahy
  • Ryan Alva
  • Dan Light
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Female, Fantasy, Black Comedy, Dark Comedy, Oddball, Fairytale, Live Action, Mermaid, Beach, Female Director, Female Writer, Female Lead, Female Editor, Shot in Los Angeles, Shot in Ventura, Surreal, Genre Comedy, Philadelphia Director
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 20, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    14,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, ALEXA Mini
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Dances With Films 2022
    Los Angeles
    United States
    June 11, 2022
    World Premiere
  • Woods Hole Film Festival 2022
    Woods Hole, Massachusetts
    United States
    July 1, 2022
    East Coast Premiere
  • Genre Blast 2022
    Culpeper, VA
    United States
    September 2, 2022
    Virginia Premiere
  • First Glance Philadelphia
    Philadelphia, PA
    United States
    October 14, 2022
    Philadelphia Premiere
Director Biography - Summer Benowitz

Summer Benowitz is a Philadelphia-raised, Los Angeles-based writer and director who will never give up on having bangs.

She currently works as the assistant to Emmy-Award-winning showrunner, Carly Wray (MAD MEN; THE LEFTOVERS; WATCHMEN) and is a freelance researcher and occasional on-set-accomplice to Nicole Perlman (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY; CAPTAIN MARVEL). 

Her web series, INSIGNIFICANT OTHER — which she wrote, directed, produced, and acted in — premiered at the Hollyweb Festival in May 2019, and is now available through Facebook Watch. 

Her short film, THERE ARE MERMAIDS IN LA — a subverted fairytale starring comedian Jamie Loftus — premiered at the 2022 Dances with Films and will be screening at the Woods Hole Film Fest in Cape Cod at the end of July.

When she's not on set or in front of her laptop, Summer's hobbies include walking around and re-watching Mad Men. Her goal is to have more than 30 followers on letterboxd. And one time she bungee jumped.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous. Everyone hasn't met me yet." - Rodney Dangerfield

MERMAIDS is a film about self-loathing. About how we fight and berate ourselves, time and again. For learning nothing. Speaking truth to nothing. Having endless bad days; asking the same questions on repeat to a comically mute universe.

In the film, Cassie copes with an all-too-familiar isolation via inconsequential projects until a ‘Weekend at Bernie’s' esque women appears in her back yard, in need of some heavy reupholstering.

Silence can be illuminating. And although Cassie eventually turns to violence when that silence becomes overbearing, I’d like to believe that this troubled character learns something by the end.
She's forced to -- once again -- be alone with herself.

I hope this film will help others feel less alone as we all tackle the rationality behind our actions in isolation. At one point or another all of us have traded in our voices for a metaphorical pair of legs. So, come. Share in the gloom. Have a little fun.