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Exclusive Clip: SXSW Documentary 'Maidentrip' Chronicles Teen Laura Dekker's Record-Breaking Sail Around the World

by Beth Hanna
February 27, 2013 3:05 PM
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Check out this exclusive clip from Jillian Schlesinger's SXSW documentary "Maidentrip," following Dutch 14-year-old Laura Dekker's seabound excursion to become the youngest person to sail around the globe solo. The voyage announcement was met with a highly publicized custody battle in 2010, but here Schlesinger focuses on a portrait of Dekker as a sailor -- alone, unconventional and fiercely independent for her years. The film has its world premiere at the Austin fest on March 10.

The young captain of the Guppy is an engaging subject, with a mix of ballsy determination and honest vulnerability. While Schlesigner checks in with Laura at her various port stops, all footage at sea is shot exclusively by Dekker.

Here's the SXSW program notes:

14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out—camera in hand—on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. In the wake of a year-long battle with Dutch authorities that sparked a global storm of media scrutiny, Laura now finds herself far from land, family and unwanted attention, exploring the world in search of freedom, adventure, and distant dreams of her early youth at sea. Jillian Schlesinger’s debut feature amplifies Laura’s brave, defiant voice through a mix of Laura's own video and voice recordings at sea and intimate vérité footage from locations including the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, and South Africa.

And here's the film's poster, via Badass Digest:

Maidentrip poster


  • MIKE | March 11, 2013 10:16 AMReply

    Take your time Laura. Write your own story .... let it sit for a while to allow a better overall perspective to come through and then tell the sailing world without fake sensationalism. You will be an icon and model for many other young people and even adults. As a sailor (and father) myself, I have nothing but admiration for you. Even if one factors in that conditions could have been even more severe, you still made your choices and achieved what you set out to do. Thank you for showing the world that even very challenging dreams can be lived.

  • Erik | March 9, 2013 12:13 PMReply

    Laura has now publicly distanced herself from this film since she believes the film does not do justice to all that she has accomplished and fails to recognise her numerous successes. Sad to see the world turn against such a talented girl: first the Dutch authorities, who in the end even tried to sink her boat with an explosive charge, then the media which only published the most scathing news they could think of, followed by the publisher of her book who intentionally delayed publication and finally this documentary, which apparently is so inaccurate the Laura has been forced to publicly denounce the film. Sad, sad, sad.

  • Willem | March 6, 2013 1:01 PMReply

    It it so impressive to see you battle against the endless ocean while saving wildlife and doing research in the meanwhile! You have really been an example to mankind and you are a beacon of hope in these dark and dreadful times. I cannot possibly see how the Dutch authorities could have failed to recognise your genius - what a disgrace to the Netherlands that you had to flee the country and continue your journey under the New Zealand flag. I have no doubt that great things are in store for you - this documentary is a strong Oscar contender and your Book deserves the Pulitzer prize! Laura, the world loves you!

  • Petertje | March 5, 2013 9:56 AMReply


  • Thomas | February 27, 2013 5:33 PMReply

    For more information about Laura Dekker please visit ZEILMEISJE LAURA DEKKER on Facebook

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