One of the best adventure films in recent years, Maidentrip has been acquired for U.S. distribution by First Run Features and will open January 17 at the IFC Center in New York City. The full-length feature film documents Dutch teenager Laura Dekker's astounding and controversial 2012 solo round-the-world voyage, when, at 15, she became the youngest person ever to sail the globe alone.
Maidentrip, which debuted to rave reviews at South by Southwest in March and won the Director's Award at Telluride Mountainfilm, provides an intimate account of Dekker's 17 months alone at sea. There was no chase boat, support staff, or film crew. Dekker shot her own footage aboard her 38-foot ketch, using a Sony Handy Cam she rigged to the boat.
The effect is an arresting portrait of the young sailor, who for much of the film stares wide-eyed into the camera, as though she can’t quite believe she’s doing it, either. Though you never see the camera, it takes on its own personality, a kind of default crew and confidante for the solo skipper.
Friday showtimes will be followed by Q&As with filmmakers Jillian Schlesinger and Emily McAllister, and the documentary will screen at IFC for rest of the week, with six showings per day.
After a stint in New York, the film will tour across the country for much of the spring.
In March, Outside columnist Katie Arnold wrote about the film. "It’s impossible to watch Maidentrip and not want to immediately start scheming your own audacious adventure," Arnold says. "Laura’s unscripted optimism is contagious."