Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’  Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’ Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel'  Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel' 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See The 10 Best Films Of 2007 The 10 Best Films Of 2007 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Exclusive: Sail The Seas With Clip From 'Maidentrip,' Director Jillian Schlesinger Talks Parallel Journey Of Collaboration

Photo of Katie Walsh By Katie Walsh | The Playlist January 8, 2014 at 12:00PM

Following the journey of Laura Dekker, the youngest person to sail alone around the world, Jillian Schlesinger’s debut documentary feature, “Maidentrip,” won the Visions Audience Award at SXSW this year, and makes its theatrical debut this January at the IFC Center. The film was a creative collaboration with Dekker, as she shot all of the footage on the boat by herself, while Schlesinger followed her on several of her stops around the world. We recently spoke with Schlesinger about the filmmaking process of “Maidentrip,” and also have an exclusive clip of the film to share. “Maidentrip” is nominated for a Cinema Eye Honor for its truly stunning watercolor-like animation by Moth Collective, mapping the visual of Laura’s two-year trip around the world.
0
Maidentrip

Following the journey of Laura Dekker, the youngest person to sail alone around the world, Jillian Schlesinger’s debut documentary feature, “Maidentrip,” won the Visions Audience Award at SXSW this year, and makes its theatrical debut this January at the IFC Center. The film was a creative collaboration with Dekker, as she shot all of the footage on the boat by herself, while Schlesinger followed her on several of her stops around the world. We recently spoke with Schlesinger about the filmmaking process of “Maidentrip,” and also have an exclusive clip of the film to share. “Maidentrip” is nominated for a Cinema Eye Honor for its truly stunning watercolor-like animation by Moth Collective, mapping the visual of Laura’s two-year trip around the world.

Schlesinger first caught wind of Laura’s story in 2009 after reading an op-ed in the New York Times about the Dutch court case attempting to bar then-13 year-old Laura from making the solo trip. As Schlesinger puts it, “I felt like there was such robust discussion around the topic, but with very little attention to Laura’s voice in the conversation, and I couldn’t really find anything where it seemed like she had a chance to tell her own story.” 

She reached out to Laura personally and proposed the idea of making a film about the trip together in a collaborative manner. As the two young women started the process, the filmmaker realized that Laura "was about to embark on this thing that she had never done before, and so in a way, we were on these sort of parallel journeys to pursue very different dreams, but both involved a lot of struggle and hardship, and also a  lot of great moments of success and pride.” The result was a partnership of support and sharing journeys.

The collaborative process was of utmost importance for Schlesinger, in wanting to tell “this one very specific and subjective narrative that is her vision of both her trip, and of her childhood and her life so far.” She describes Dekker’s trip as a “creative project” in itself and believes that “anything that you’re really passionate about pursuing at that level is sort of a work of art.” Ultimately, the two women, “were able to work together to make that a work that she could then share and we could share with many other people so that they would be able to connect to her story as well.” Schlesinger was also committed to keeping the shooting process “feel fun and open and collaborative for anyone,” particularly Laura, who is shown in the film to be a bit uncomfortable with public attention.

Because Laura was shooting everything on the boat by herself, Schlesinger had to relinquish control, and this was something she was open to during the course of making the film. “I knew what I was getting myself into and I was really excited by moments that were very far outside of my control," she said. "Instead of feeling nervous or worried about what I would get, it was a very organic, constantly evolving process, where it wasn’t like I had a clear idea of exactly what I wanted to do and what I wanted it to be from the beginning, I was very open, just letting the story take off.” 

Much of the narrative she knew would be shaped in post, and so she never instructed Laura on what or how to shoot, just wanting the camera to become “a confidant and friend, and someone to interact with and play with on the boat… if it had been something different than that then it would have been much less interesting and much less intimate.”

As for the young sailor’s response to the deeply personal film about her historical journey, Schlesinger says that “she’s super excited and proud of the fact that the film is resonating so much with people, the film has won multiple audience awards, and has gotten a lot of positive feedback, especially from young women and I think that that aspect of it is very exciting for her.”

“Maidentrip” opens January 17th at the IFC Center in New York and will continue rolling out. Check out the exclusive clip below featuring some of the award nominated animation.

Maidentrip (skip crop)
Maidentrip (skip crop)
Maidentrip (skip crop)


This article is related to: Maidentrip, Jillian Schlesinger, Interviews, Interviews


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates