• short film

    The Nixie

    directed by

    Julia and Mai Bui-Ngoc

    Project details


    Julia Bui-Ngoc


    Julia and Mai Bui-Ngoc


    Jarosław Jóźwik / Michał Chęć / Justyna Święs


    Marta Szarzyńska / kinhouse studio


    fantasy / thriller


    19 min


    polish with english subtitles



    Film polski


    Production company








    The short film, “The Nixie”, is a dark folk tale, based on an old Polish legend, immortalized by Adam Mickiewicz in a poem of the same name. It tells the story of a water nymph who takes on a human form to seduce a young man she encounters in the forest. Mesmerized, he makes a vow of love towards her, and the woman transforms back into the nymph to test his love. The young man, who does not know the nymph and woman are the same, succumbs to her mystical beauty and breaks his vow. The nymph then takes her revenge by swallowing him into the lake, where he will eternally remain as his punishment.

    The film begins in a life-like world and slowly morphs into the fantastical as the line between the real and the mystical blur. A coming-of-age fairytale, “The Fairy of Switez Lake” is a modern, seductive, filmic poem with a catchy new wave soundtrack for this timeless cautionary tale.

    Director’s Statement

    Adam Mickiewicz’s ballade contains the quintessence of the romanticism movement where the incomprehensible elements of the world were explained by metaphysics. This story, full of passion and magic, is very characteristic of 19th-century literature. We wanted to explore whether we could tell this story once again from a modern perspective and I think that we managed to maintain its energy and tension. The most difficult challenge was to stick to the original Mickiewicz text, but mix it with modern music and voice, making it a classic for all times.


    Julia Bui Ngoc - director

    Julia Bui Ngoc - director

    Film director, sculptor, dancer, and choreographer born in France. Three-time French gold medalist of the Chinese martial arts Wushu. Co-founder (together with Mai Bui-Ngoc) of the Bui Sisters cinematographic duet. Founder of the School of Dancing with Combat Fans. In 2011 she graduated from the Faculty of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She developed her artistic sensitivity under professor Grzegorz Kowalski in his multimedia atelier. Holder of the scholarships granted by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and by the Capital City of Warsaw. Since 2003 Julia Bui-Ngoc has created more than twenty video-arts, over a dozen theatre performances and six short movies. Her works were presented and awarded in prestigious art centers in Poland and abroad, inter alia at National Museum in Prague at Prague Quadrennial (Czech Republic), at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw (Poland), at Zachęta Galery of Art in Lublin (Poland), at Japon Expo Festival in Nice (France), at Readymade Film Fest in Los Angeles (USA), at Sorbonne in Paris (France). From 2003 Julia cooperates (as an actress, choreographer and a tutor at Academy for Theatre Practices) with Centre for Theatre Practices Gardzienice, taking part in such theatre productions as: Metamorphosis, Elektra, Francois Vase, Iphigenia at Aulis. She performed and ran masterclasses inter alia at Columbia University in New York (USA), Yale University (USA), LaMaMa Theatre (USA), the European Commission in Brussels (Belgium), Sikyone (Greece), Hebel Theatre in Berlin (Germany), Meyerhold Center in Moscow (Russia), Barbican Center in London (UK).