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. In 2001 at just six years of age, Laura sailed her own dinghy alone across the lake where she lived. In 2005 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 become the youngest person to sail around the globe alone.
After a year-long battle with Dutch authorities who wished to cancel her trip and sparked a global storm of media scrutiny, 14-year-old Laura Dekker finally set out—camera in hand—on a two-year solo voyage in pursuit of her dream. Neither a follow boat or support team accompanied Laura on the transformative journey that took Laura across three oceans and 27,000 nautical miles.
Jillian Schlesinger's debut feature film Maidentrip closely follows Laura's adventures across the globe as she finds herself far from land, family and companionship, exploring the world in search of freedom, adventure, and distant dreams of her early youth at sea. A uniquely talented and untrained cinematographer, all of the footage captured at sea was filmed by Laura herself. Schlesinger's direction amplifies Laura's brave, defiant voice through a mix of Laura's own personal video and voice recordings at sea and vérité footage from stunning locations along the route including the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, and South Africa.
Directed, produced and shot by a team of young female filmmakers, Maidentrip celebrates the accomplishments of an intrepid young woman and brings the historically underrepresented voices of women and girls in the sailing world to the big screen with great acclaim.