"The idea for The Boat came to me whilst on a mini sailing break in Europe with a group of individuals, all of whom came from different social backgrounds and the aftermath of a small but potentially life threatening accident out in the open sea. As the skipper had to make some quick decisions and tried to deal with the clash of personalities that ensued, I became aware of the inherent danger that lay either side of a wrong decision. The responsibility he held for the lives of those (including mine) on the vessel impacted on me.
I started asking myself what would I do as a novice sailor if I had to take control of a similar vessel? What if my own survival and other’s depended on it? What would I do? How would I navigate us home? And what if the skipper or other crew was critically injured and I had to take some drastic measures?
The clash of personalities I witnessed grew into an arena where I felt I could challenge an audience, by widening that clash into cultural and racial volatility. Bringing the refugee crisis into the debate I want to ask uncomfortable questions of the audience- yet root them in a story about two father and sons- a dynamic that resonates with us all, regardless of our social, moral or political leaning.
I don’t plan to make a political film by setting the story against the backdrop of something bigger than our own everyday lives- where we have no control, but I believe there is immense power in engaging, in making decisions, in questioning our sense of empathy. I believe that is a responsibility we all share."
- Leo DeHaan, Writer & Director of The Boat