Real vs Reel: Is True Spirit a true story based on Jessica Watson, the world's youngest sailor?

The answer to this question is Yes. True Spirit is a biography (true story) based on the real-life adventure of Jessica Watson, who at the age of 16 became the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop, and unassisted around the world.

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Netflix is known for bringing and streaming out-of-the-box content which earns the OTT giant a lot of praise around the world. Similarly, the much-awaited movie named True Spirit is all set to be released on Netflix on February 3, 2023. True Spirit is produced by Debra Martin Chase (The Princess Diaries, Sisterhood of Travelling Pants) for Martin Chase Productions and Andrew Fraser (Lion) for Sunstar Entertainment. Sarah Spillane adapted the screenplay with Cathy Randall and has also directed the upcoming movie. Talking about True Spirit star cast, it includes Teagan Croft as Jessica Watson, Anna Paquin as Julie Watson, the mother of Jessica, Cliff Curtis as Ben Bryant, Josh Lawson as Roger Watson, Todd Lasance as Craig Atherton, Alyla Browne as Young Jessica Watson, Bridget Webb as Emily Watson, Alice Tate as Georgina Bauer, Stacy Clausen as Tom Watson, Vivien Turner as Hannah Watson, Luke O’Neil as Kevin Rudd and Molly Belle Wright as Young Hannah Watson. Ever since True Spirit trailer has been released people around the world have been eagerly waiting for the upcoming inspirational movie. Now, the question arises whether True Spirit is a true story or True Spirit is a real story or not.

The answer to this question is Yes. True Spirit is a biography (true story) based on the real-life adventure of Jessica Watson, who at the age of 16 became the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop, and unassisted around the world. Talking about Jessica Watson, she is an Australian sailor who was awarded the Order of Australia Medal after attempting a solo global circumnavigation at the age of 16. Departing Sydney on 18 October 2009, Watson headed north-east, crossing the equator in the Pacific Ocean before crossing the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. She returned to Sydney on 15 May 2010, three days before her 17th birthday. However, the voyage was ultimately shorter than the required 21,600 nautical miles to be considered a global circumnavigation.

Jessica Watson's journey in 2009 took 210 days and she navigated some of the most challenging stretches of oceans and survived seven knockdowns while at sea on her 33-foot vessel for 210 days. After that, (then) Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd declared her a national hero. Watson, however, does not consider herself a hero and in one of her interviews said that she is “an ordinary person, who had a dream, worked hard at it, and proved anything really is possible.” Her experiences were told in her documentary called 210 Days, which was narrated by Sir Richard Branson and produced by Sunstar Entertainment.

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Jessica Watson and Netflix

It is pertinent to mention here that Jessica has been personally involved in the making of True Spirit with Netflix. In order to bring the actual reality of her voyage, Jessica has overseen technical aspect of the upcoming movie. As per Australian media reports, Watson, herself is e a consultant for the Netflix film to make sure the technical details are accurate, and she is okay with Netflix taking some liberties in the name of drama. “I’m very happy to let them play with it a little,” said Watson to The Sydney Morning Herald. “But when you’re talking 10-meter-plus waves and cyclone-strength winds you probably don’t need to take too much dramatic license.”

True Spirit is directed by Sarah Spillane. Spillane is known for her works such as The Manual and Around the Block - the latter starring Christina Ricci and Jack Thompson. Around the Block premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and has won an Australian Directors Guild Award. In addition to directing True Spirit, Spillane also serves as and executive producer and one of the film's writers. Joining the team are fellow writers Rebecca Banner and Cathay Randall, producers Andrew Fraser, Debra Martin Chase, and Susan Cartsonis, as well as executive producers Georgina Marquis and Shahen Mekertichian. Director of photography Danny Ruhlmann and editor Veronika Jenet are also part of the project. True Spirit is produced by Resonate Entertainment and Sunstar Entertainment Pty Ltd.


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