• Katie Bryer

'Maiden', "a moving portrait of resilience" to premiere in Toronto

'Maiden', directed by Alex Holmes & edited by me will premiere at the Toronto film festival on September 6th. It's the story of the admirably determined Tracy Edwards & her fight to take an all-female crew on the Whitbread round the world race in 1989, when she unexpectedly came up against powerful misogyny. It's '...a captivating braid of archival materials and new interviews in which Edwards and her crew members — all of them rousing storytellers — collectively narrate their experience. It is a classic tale of people contending with the elements, though in this case some of those elements are other people.' I loved uncovering the story of this crew of brave women who talk so breezily about life threatening situations and with such good humour about the often nasty public & press negativity towards them. Alex's interviews with all the women are candid & warm. A huge amount of research went in to finding all the footage available and uncovering long forgotten footage in dusty tv archive libraries was often disappointing but occasionally thrilling. In the end I worked with over 100 hours worth of footage and getting to a first cut was a slow, painstaking process which involved a lot of house keeping. Spending time laying those foundations securely saves time in the long run. The moment a documentary of this scale goes from being a series of ideas and sketches, to being a story with a watchable structure and clear themes is so pleasurable that it's worth all the meticulous plotting that's come before.

Tracy Edwards and Michele Paret set off from Southampton around the world on Maiden