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First Run Features Presents MAIDENTRIP

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First Run Features Presents MAIDENTRIP


Winner of the Visions Audience Award at SXSW
Winner of the Festival Director's Award at Mountainfilm in Telluride
Nominated for the Audience Award at the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Awards

"It’s impossible to watch Maidentrip and not want to immediately start scheming your own audacious adventure." -OUTSIDE MAGAZINE

Directed, produced and shot by a team of young female filmmakers, the new highly acclaimed documentary film MAIDENTRIP celebrates the accomplishments of the intrepid young woman Laura Dekker and brings her complex and inspiring real-life story to the big screen.

In 1995 Laura Dekker was born on a boat in the port of Whangarei, New Zealand during her parents’ seven-year voyage around the world on their sailboat. At just six years of age, Laura sailed her own dinghy alone across the lake where she lived. At the age of ten, she took a multi-week trip to Friesland, Netherlands accompanied only by her dog Spot. Then, in 2009, at the age of 13 Laura announced her plans to sail solo around the globe.

After a year-long court battle with Dutch authorities who attempted to stop her voyage and the unwanted global media scrutiny it sparked, 14-year-old Laura Dekker finally set out—camera in hand—on a two-year solo voyage in pursuit of her dream, alone without a follow boat or a support team, on her transformative 27,000 mile global odyssey. During the longest leg of her trip across the Indian Ocean, Laura spent 47 days alone at sea.

Laura’s dream was “to be the youngest ever to sail around the world alone,” but she didn’t want to set a speed record. Instead, she sought to experience the remote and wonderful corners of the planet on her own,stopping to explore along the way.

Jillian Schlesinger’s debut feature film MAIDENTRIP captures Laura’s journey as she explores the world in search of freedom, adventure, and distant dreams of her early youth at sea. Schlesinger’s filmmaking amplifies Laura’s mature, brave and defiant voice through a mix of Laura's own video and voice recordings from sea and the intimate vérité footage shot at the stunning stops along the route, including the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, and South Africa.


Jillian Schlesinger (Director/Producer) is an independent filmmaker and writer-producer-editor of promotional content for television. Her debut feature documentary, MAIDENTRIP, won an Audience Award at SXSW and the Festival Director's Award at Mountainfilm in Telluride.

Jillian has previously worked in various roles on documentaries, including writing, story development, and archival research. She has also written, produced, and edited numerous on-air promotions for television networks, including AMC, Sundance Channel, and BBC America. Her work on Sundance Channel's Dysfunctional Family Thanksgiving earned a 2010 PromaxBDA Award in the "Something for Nothing" category. Jillian graduated from Brown University, where she studied creative writing and linguistic anthropology. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Emily McAllister (Producer) is an independent filmmaker based in Brooklyn. She began working on MAIDENTRIP shortly after graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Film and Economics. She started her career interning at the award-winning production company Part2 Pictures, where she worked on television documentaries for National Geographic, OWN, and PBS. Currently, she is working on the post-production team at Pilot, a full service creative agency in Manhattan. Emily is also a part of Pilot’s new venture to support emerging filmmakers through its sister company CoPilot Pictures. In her spare time, she loves to make flipbooks and animated shorts.

Hillary Fyfe Spera is the award-winning director of photography of documentaries including AFTER TILLER (Sundance 2013), MAIDENTRIP (SXSW 2013, Audience Award) and OXYANA (Tribeca 2013, Special Jury Prize for Best New Director.) Among her narrative film credits are Katie Aselton's BLACK ROCK (Sundance 2012), Matt Walsh's HIGH ROAD, and Nicholas Greene's SALAR, shortlisted for a 2013 Academy Award. Hillary has also shot numerous commercials and music videos around the world. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

"Jillian Schlesinger’s first both low-key and lyrical as it focuses on the mundane and the magnificent." - THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER


Director: Jillian Schlesinger
Producers: Jillian Schlesinger & Emily McAllister
Editor: Penelope Falk
Executive Producers: Louis Venezia/Rebecca RitchieBrower/Gill Holland/ Dominic Cicere
Co-Producer: Alex Halpern
Director of Photography: Hillary Fyfe Spera
Music: Ben Sollee
Animation: Moth Collective
Sound Editor: Clemence Stoloff
Sound Mixer: Chad Birmingham
Sound Editor & Re-Recording Mixer: Joe Deihl C.A.S M.P.S.E
Associate Producers: Mary Murphy/Scott M. Kush
Art Director: Leah Koransky
Post-Production Facilities: Broadway Video
Post-Production Equipment: Pilot
Color & Online: Post Factory NY
Lead Colorist: Eyal Dimant
Colorist: Michael Hernandez

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