A wayward selkie (a seal that can turn itself into a human) has followed a school of herring up the Delaware river when her seal skin is captured by a man from the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia.
A “selkie” is a seal that can shed its skin and take a human form. Often in Irish and Scottish mythology, selkies are coerced into relationships with humans when someone steals and hides their seal skin. I decided to set the selkie story in the riverward Fishtown section of Philadelphia in honor of the neighborhood’s working class Irish roots and the occasional marine mammal that wanders down the Delaware river from the ocean. Most of all, I wanted to tell a story about the end of an unhealthy relationship.
My work often follows a character trying to fit into a world that is not their own. In SELKIE, a relationship is keeping our title character in a place where she can’t be herself. No dialogue is used in the film besides the fisherman’s tale in the introduction. It was very important to me to show the silent moments in which we struggle to connect.