Sail freight comes to the 21st Century.
Directed by Jon Bowermaster
Produced by Jon Bowermaster
Executive Producers: Peter S. Reed Foundation, Foundation for Sustainability & Innovation, One Ocean Media Foundation
Co-Producers: Chris Rahm, Devin, Pickering
Cinematography: Devin Pickering, Chris Rahm
Editor: Chris Rahm
Music: Aled Roberts
Sound: Jared Horowitz
A Northguild and Oceans 8 Films Production
For the past few years, filmmaker Jon Bowermaster (Louisiana Water Stories) has watched a singular sailing boat being renovated in various ports along the Hudson. The original purpose of the schooner Apollonia, a 64-foot, steel-hulled sailboat built in the 1940s was to carry and deliver up to 20,000 pounds of cargo by sail.
"Connects our history with our possible future...using the wind to ship cargo...fascinating" Bill McKibben, Environmentalist, Author, Founder of Third Act
A team of ambitious, young adventurers, led by Captain Sam Merrett, have been working steadily to restore the schooner and return it to the water.
The Apollonia has been trawling ports from Hudson to Kingston, Beacon, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Piermont and Ossining, its hold stuffed with all kinds of upstate goods headed south—and products made in Brooklyn and Manhattan returning back north—using only sustainable energy: sail power and/or vegetable oil!
At a moment when global shipping is in the news every day for its pandemic-spawned slowdown, and as people consider the carbon footprint of those overnight Amazon orders, shipping by fossil-free sail freight makes more and more sense.
Grade Level: 7 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2023
Copyright Date: 2022
DVD ISBN: 1-961192-02-0
"It's hard to imagine anything that connects our history with our possible future more clearly than using the wind to ship cargo. Windshipped is a fascinating look that will thrill communities and classrooms as they imagine the potential."
Bill McKibben, Environmentalist, Author, Educator, Journalist, Founder of Third Act
"This is an interesting, inspiring film about a not-so-crazy idea. Shipping cargo can be highly polluting to air and water. Windshipped shows how one person's dream could be part of the solution for all of us."
Carl Safina, Author, Ecologist, Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity, Stony Brook University
"Windshipped is the story of an emerging sail cargo industry that revives a time-tested model for a more ecological global supply chain. These are mariners of the future, rebuilding the vessel of civilization under different architectural principals, while building community and having fun. Students and educators will be inspired by this thriving example of a community putting into practice the famous saying, 'think globally, act locally.'"
Evan N. Shenkin, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Linfield University
"John Bowermaster's great new film Windshipped lets you ship out on the Hudson sail freighter, The Apollonia, a potent symbol of how we can still thrive in the era of climate change."
Paul Gallay, Director of Resilient Coastal Communities Project, Center for Sustainable Urban Development, Columbia Climate School
"Windshipped is a lovely documentary with a new vision combined with a shift toward using an ancient resource for water transportation: wind. The success of this venture inspires change and shows the possibility of a slower, locally resourced way of living. A must watch."
Stephanie Pincetl, Director, California Center for Sustainable Communities, Professor, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California - Los Angeles
"Brilliant film! Windshipped gets us thinking about something we usually don't think about at all - how our stuff gets to us and what impact that has on the world - and how we might do that more sustainably. It touches on all the right spots: containerization, sustainability, local economic connectivity, resiliency, and community-building. The film also blends the local specificities of the Hudson River Valley with the global logistics system, making it clear that many other places have the potential to do the same. I look forward to showing this to my Transportation and Sustainability class."
Julie Cidell, Professor of Geography, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
"One sailboat navigating the Hudson River to New York City won't change the carbon-based global economy - but it can change the way we think about the economy. Windshipped will make you think twice about how, in the 'Amazon Prime' era, our addiction to carbon is linked to our addiction to speed and mass consumer goods."
Philip Steinberg, Professor of Political Geography, Durham University, Author, The Social Construction of the Ocean
"Windshipped is beautifully filmed with the majestic Hudson River providing both a power source for the Appollonia's voyages and the setting for the film. This film not only provides exciting and plausible alternatives to the unsustainable fossil fuel-powered global shipping that dominates today, but also a rich exploration of the history and the social and political dimensions of sustainable shipping. Educators and students in the environmental sciences, public policy, history, and local and regional studies will find this film engaging and empowering."
Thomas Wermuth, Associate Professor of History, Marist College, Co-Founder and Director, Hudson River Valley Institute
"The climate crisis is a structural issue that knows no simple fix. But that doesn't mean our solutions must rely on yet-to-be-invented technologies. Sailing ships, alongside other tools and methods that have proven their worth through the ages, should be part of how we collectively imagine the future and tackle this problem in manageable chunks. Windshipped beautifully captures the engagement and dedication of sailors who believe we can learn from the past to build a better future."
Christiaan De Beukelaer, Senior Lecturer in Culture and Climate, University of Melbourne, Author, Trade Winds: A Voyage to a Sustainable Future for Shipping
"Windshipped tells the story of the only sail-freight vessel currently operating in U.S. waters, along the way packing data and insight into a lusciously-filmed journey. If this area is one big school for sustainable living, the Apollonia has to be home room: that place where everything from farming to industry to education to, most definitely, transportation comes together in one place. Realizing a sane future is not only about new ideas. It's also about reviving and repackaging tried and true old ones to meet today's desperate needs."
Rik Scarce, Professor of Sociology, Skidmore College, Author, Creating Sustainable Communities
|DVDs include public performance rights.
DVD includes optional English SDH captions, and scene selection.
Awards and Festivals
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival
International Ocean Film Festival
Woodstock Film Festival
Princeton Environmental Film Festival
Chatham Film Festival
Chesapeake Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival
Glimmerglass Film Days Festival
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... more Reviews
"Windshipped - this title alone stirs something deep inside our collective experience, a yearning for a simpler, cleaner and more beautiful way of doing things, in this case something as fundamental and basic as the logistics of life. This film following the Apollonia is not a trip down memory lane - it is rather a marker, a beacon, a lighthouse that helps illuminate our voyage of discovery in what we consume, how we move that and questions our existing global trading system in the light of a carbon constrained future and a rapidly declining environment. Moving cargo by sail down the stunning Hudson valley - what better way to reflect globally while acting locally!"
Gavin Allwright, Secretary General, International Windship Association (IWSA)