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by Indiewire
September 19, 2013 12:00 PM
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Project of the Day: A Photographer, A Mermaid & The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 'Pepper and the Salt Sea'

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

"Pepper and the Salt Sea"

Tweetable Logline: 

Pepper and the Salt Sea is an emotionally and visually stunning short about a photographer, a mermaid & the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Elevator Pitch:

When Hurricane Sandy flooded Pepper's Brooklyn apartment, it washed away her cameras, all her photographs, and her love for the ocean.  

A year later, she can't bring herself to take a single photograph.  Until one night, when a mysterious young woman appears on the streets of Red Hook, Brooklyn - soaking wet and seemingly helpless. Pepper takes the young woman in, hoping to help her. 

But she soon realizes that there are supernatural forces at work -- Selene is a mermaid, and she has come to show Pepper the true nature of the sea.

Production Team:

Don Downie - Director

Kyle I. Kelley - Cinematographer

Min Soo Elle Kim - Producer

Stacie Capone - Producer / Actress

About the Production:

What would it be like for someone who lost everything in the storm to be able to confront the sea -- in the form of a mermaid? 

Pepper and the Salt Sea is a fictional approach to a very real story: there are many people who are still putting their lives back together a year after Superstorm Sandy. 

This film is a love letter to Red Hook, and all those who have a complicated relationship with the sea. We are donating 10% of funds from indiegogo to The Red Hook Volunteers, who provide free assistance to people affected by Sandy.

Current Status:

We are currently fundraising, and in pre-production. The film shoots from Oct. 4-7.

For more information and to support this project:

Indiegogo Page

Pepper and the Salt Sea indiegogo from Don Downie on Vimeo.

If you have an in-the-works project and you'd like to be profiled in an upcoming iW Project of the Day column, submit yourself by filling out this form!


  • Anna McManus | September 23, 2013 1:50 PMReply

    Pepper and Salt Sea

  • Pat | September 23, 2013 10:01 AMReply


  • Nicole | September 23, 2013 8:32 AMReply

    Pepper and Salt Sea

  • Lisa Kozak | September 23, 2013 1:26 AMReply

    Pepper & Salt Sea

  • Pam | September 21, 2013 7:12 PMReply


  • Jan Johnson | September 21, 2013 12:48 PMReply

    Best wishes to all the cast and crew on this venture--may it lead to many, many more!!!

  • Marion Wait | September 20, 2013 5:15 PMReply

    Can't wait to see this film.

  • Don Downie | September 19, 2013 2:45 PMReply

    Thank you so much for featuring my film! I'm thrilled and honored.