In 2016, seven female filmmakers, all under the age of 25, traveled to Central Florida to film the legendary mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs. All of us (some strangers, some friends, some college roommates) met up at the Tampa airport, hopped in a van, and headed up the old U.S. 19 highway toward Weeki Wachee Springs. The highway is lined with pre-Disney attractions, obscure, alligator-centric showplaces that have long since closed, but Weeki Wachee remains, a lone relic of South Florida’s past. It’s a natural spring in which, for almost seventy years, Mermaids have performed daily shows for spectators in a custom built, underwater auditorium. For this group of women, mermaiding is more than a job - it’s their lifeblood. In our five days at the park, we spoke to the mermaids about their unrelenting love for the spring and came to understand Weeki Wachee in a life changing way. We are excited to share a story that we hope will serve as a sweet reminder to never stop seeking happiness - it comes in many forms.
About the Artist
Delaney Buffett is a writer, director and producer living in New York City. Delaney’s directorial debut, The Spring, a short documentary about a mermaid amusement park in Florida, premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Documentary at the 2017 Toronto International Short Film Festival. Her documentary short, Buried Treasure, premiered on PBS this spring. While Delaney enjoys venturing into the unscripted world, she spends most of her time writing and producing comedic sketches with her writing partner, Katie Corwin. They created a web series, City of Angles, which has been an official selection at the 2017 New York Television Festival, the 2017 Hollyweb Festival, 2017 Portland Comedy Film Festival, and the 2017 NYC Web Fest.