Toronto: Sony Pictures Classics Nabs 'Maiden' Documentary

Courtesy of TIFF
'Maiden'

The sailing documentary about the first-ever all-female crew to enter an around-the-world race had its world premiere at TIFF.

Sony Pictures Classics on Saturday acquired the women's sailing race documentary Maiden by director Alex Holmes.

The U.S. distributor took all the rights for North America, the Middle East, South Africa, Scandinavia, Benelux, India and worldwide airlines.

The New Black Films doc follows Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook on charter boats who becomes the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989. The film was sold by Dogwoof after its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Maiden, named after Edwards' yacht, was produced by Alex Holmes and Victoria Gregory and executive produced by James Erskine.

The Whitbread Round the World Race, renamed the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001, was led by male sailors until Edwards and her all-female crew entered and, amid much sexist condescension, proved their mettle in the demanding sailing competition.

Maiden also shows the lead-up to the sailing competition, as Edwards remortgages her home and buys a secondhand boat to get her team to the starting line. Edwards is also shown with equal measures of powerful self-belief and crippling doubts as she relies on her crew to prove women are the equal of men.

Dogwoof is handling international sales for Maiden.

This story also appears in The Hollywood Reporter's Sept. 9 daily issue at the Toronto International Film Festival.