Miss Mermaid

: Fiction
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Production


May travels from Taipei to New York and discovers a secret life her sister has been keeping from her and their distanced mother.


May, an ambitious law school student in Taipei City, gets a phone call from a hospital in New York saying that her sister is in critical condition. Unwilling to involve their distanced mother, May flies to New York alone and finds out that her sister has an entire life she doesn’t know about.


I was born and raised in Taipei City, and as a child of the 90s, I grew up surrounded by American culture. It wasn't until I moved to New York and witnessed the daily influx of immigrants to America that I began to question the political and social power struggles at play. This experience prompted me to reflect on my own mixed, Americanized upbringing, and to ponder the meaning of the American Dream for our generation. What are we searching for in America, and at what cost? As someone who grew up in a traditional Asian family, I know firsthand the complicated and often fraught relationships that can exist between parents and children. In MISS MERMAID, I drew upon my own experiences with my "tiger mom" to explore these themes, recognizing that the conflict between generations can be seen as a clash between Eastern and Western cultures. Ultimately, writing MISS MERMAID taught me that true strength comes from facing our conflicts, fixing what is broken, and communicating openly and honestly. This story is for all those who share similar parent-child relationships and yearn to prove themselves as individuals while still honoring their heritage and traditions.


Tserwen Tseng - Writer/Director

Peggy Tserwen Tseng is a Taiwanese filmmaker who is currently based in New York City. Her passion for storytelling led her to start making short films during her university years, and after graduation, she pursued a career as a video editor, working on numerous commercial projects. Despite establishing herself in that field, she remained dedicated to her love for stories and continued to write, produce, and direct her own shorts. Peggy has also been involved in various narrative projects in the film industry. Currently pursuing a master's degree in Film at Stony Brook University (Killer Films), Peggy has already achieved numerous accolades for her work. Her team won first place in the 2019-20 SUNY PACC Prize for Performing Arts, Creation, and Curation, earning a 10K grant. Additionally, she won second place in the National Taiwan University Short Film Competition with her short film, "Humanoid." Peggy's work explores the struggle of identity between Eastern and Western cultures, as well as cultural and gender issues that transcend generations. Her latest project, the feature film "Miss Mermaid," is based on her personal experiences and deals with the topic of oppressive mother-daughter relationships and the American Dream.

Sheng-Ting Shen - Producer

Sheng-Ting is a writer, director, and producer born and raised in Taiwan and currently based in New York City. Her short film "Bad News" (2020) was recognized at over 15 international film festivals, and her latest film, "The Coolest Club" (2022), is currently making its way through the festival circuit. Sheng-Ting has been recognized in the industry, winning the TAICCAx MPA pitch competition and representing Taiwan on the American Film Market stage. She was also selected to participate in the Hong Kong International Film Festival HAF in-Development projects and Reclaim the Frame Filmonomics International Film Lab. Sheng-Ting's work delves into the complexities of human nature and cultural differences, not shying away from exploring the use of dark elements in her stories.

Joumana Rizk - Producer

Joumana Rizk is a writer, director, and producer completing her MFA in Filmmaking at Stony Brook University/Killer Film. Her award-winning short “31” was a finalist at several festivals, including New York Shorts International Film Festival and Cyprus International Film Festival. A first-generation immigrant from a Lebanese Italian family with its own version of the tiger mom, Joumana finds deep resonance in Peggy Tseng’s story and its exploration of the culture clashes between mothers and daughters in immigrant families.

Charlie DesJardin - Director of Photography

Charlie DesJardin is a filmmaker and professional freelancer. He offers Director of Photography work for independent films and media industries, such as Sotheby's Art House in NY and Time Warner Cable. Charlie has BFA in Film/Video and is also in the process of getting his MFA in Film. Charlie has also won best cinematography in 2015 in the NY 48 hour film project. Charlie is also working on his own independent work.


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