The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium


The film director Coco Schrijber’s brother disappeared a few years ago during a diving trip to Egypt. Was he taken by the sea, or did he die by his own hand? The mystery has never been solved, and the loss of her brother still haunts her and the people he left behind. Fifteen years later, she returns to finally confront the mystery. But the sea’s alluring and dangerous forces also contain an adventurous dimension, and a beautiful and almost mythological film takes shape, while the mystery slowly unfurls on land and in the mysterious world underneath the sea surface. Why did Coco’s brother Lex leave his knife on the beach that fateful day – something a diver would never do? And who was her brother really behind his introverted exterior? HOW TO MEET A MERMAID connects the dots in its story with the overview of a detective and the sensuality of a poet, and dedicates its search to the many people who each year go missing without trace in the sea.

Director's Biography

Coco Schrijber studied at the Rietveld academy in Amsterdam, at the audio-visual department. She worked as a First AD/Floor manager for movies by reputed Dutch directors Pieter Kramer, Theo van Gogh, Pieter Verhoef en Ben Sombogaart. Her debut film IN MOTION was premiered at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and won the first price in Rome. A short documentary about children, NOT BIG, NOT SMALL won The Golden Statue. Her first feature documentary FIRST KILL was selected for the Joris Ivens Competition IDFA 2001 and won the KNF award at the Dutch Film Festival. Her short movie BEAUTIFUL WORLD was screened at festivals in Rome, Spain, New York, Houston and Armenia and won six international awards. Her second feature documentary BLOODY MONDAY & STRAWBERRY PIES won the Golden Calf for Best Feature Documentary and was the official Dutch entry for the Oscars in 2009. Besides filmmaking, Coco coaches starting directors and she has given Master Classes for film students in The Netherlands, Mexico, Greece and Sweden.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Coco Schrijber

Written by: Coco Schrijber

Produced by: Frank van den Engel

Cinematography: Lars Skree

Editing: Gys Zevenbergen

Original Score: Marc Lizier

Sound Design: Vincent Sinceretti

Nominations and Awards

  • Documentary Selection 2017