Awards and Press
We started our festival run in October 2019, premiering at the BAFTA category A qualifying Iris Prize Film Festival, where we won Best British Short Film, the Audience Award and the Youth Jury Award - this triple win was a first in the history of the festival, and we received a £20,000 post-production package at Pinewood Studios as a prize.
Winner - Iris Prize Film Festival (BAFTA Category A Qualifying) - Best British Short Film
Winner - Iris Prize Film Festival (BAFTA Category A Qualifying) - Audience Award
Winner - Iris Prize Film Festival (BAFTA Category A Qualifying) - Youth Jury Award
Special Mention - Flickerfest - (Academy® Awards Accredited, BAFTA Category A Qualifying) - Rainbow Shorts
Nominated - Leeds International Film Festival (Academy® Awards Accredited, BAFTA Category A Qualifying) - Best British Short Film
Official Selection - Cambridge International Film Festival (BAFTA Category B Qualifying) - Official Selection
Jury Statement - (Iris Prize Film Festival)
”Alfie Dale directs a remarkable cast who convey a beautiful blend of emotions. The viewer is pulled into the intimate world of Kuda, who watches as his sibling Kai journeys through finding the confidence to embrace their non-binary identity. Alfie’s direction is sensitive and compassionate, pulling at the heartstrings without ever being overly sentimental. He takes us on a journey of character growth and development across twenty minutes that more accomplished directors too often fail to do in two hours. Quite simply, outstanding.”
Jury Statement - (Flickerfest)
"This beautiful short film tells us a story about the magic of sibling intimacy in a hostile world. All the judges agreed that the performances by the younger actors were outstanding. The directors use of the younger siblings POV was an innovative way to tell a story about a gender diverse older sibling. The subtle references to magic realism put queer identities in the realm of the uncanny."
Little White Lies Magazine Review
My Brother is a Mermaid was listed first on Little White Lies Magazine's article titled 'Six of the best new LGBT+ short films from around the world. They said - "Alfie Dale’s endearing effort in magic realism earned the unprecedented honour of scooping the Best British Short prize alongside the category’s audience and youth jury awards. That triple-crown glory is an apt indication of this sensitive portrait’s likely crossover appeal: a tender outlook on childhood innocence and unconditional love, it’s told from the perspective of a seven year old as his older sibling comes out as transgender... Alfie Dale – himself cis – took care to cast a trans actor in the lead role and worked extensively with charity Mermaids to ensure a faithful portrait of trans youth experience. The result is a gorgeous short as steadfast in its representative resolve as it is singular in its empathetic importance".
Flip Screen Website Review
Of the short films at this year’s Iris, My Brother is a Mermaid is the one that’s lingered most persistently and hauntingly in this writer’s mind. It wasn’t at all surprising that it proceeded to win three of the festival’s awards: the Youth Jury Award, Audience Award, and Best British Short (the latter of which also comes with a £20,000 credit note from Pinewood Studios). Directed by Alfie Dale, it features highly sensitive performances from its two young actors — Cameron Maydale and Aidan Broderick as Kai and Kuda respectively. My Brother is a Mermaid is a beguiling magical realist fairytale set in a bleak coastal town. The vast, wild sea itself contributes to its mythic resonance, and the waves often seem to be on the verge of dragging Kai and Kuda down into the depths of the dark water and claiming them for its own. The film is filtered through seven-year-old Kuda’s perspective; in contrast to the misunderstanding and outright hostility of many of the adults around them, Kuda unconditionally accepts and admires their transgender older sibling, and it’s Kuda’s love that saves Kai".
Attitude Magazine Website