It has been seven years today, May 15, that Jessica Watson sailed into history.
It has been seven years today, May 15, that Jessica Watson sailed into history. Contributed

REVEALED: Why Coast could miss out on Jessica Watson's film

THE company behind the $189 million box office success, Lion, is drawing closer to producing a film based on Sunshine Coast teen, Jessica Watson's inspiring life story.

But it is unlikely the Sunshine Coast will be the destination for filming when it starts next year.

Sunstar Entertainment's Andrew Fraser said there were simply "not the facilities to produce a film on the Sunshine Coast".

The region would most likely lose out to the Gold Coast which had an extensive film production studio in place.

"The Gold Coast is the most likely scenario," Mr Fraser said.

"If you look at films like San Andreas and Pirates of the Caribbean, Queensland does lend itself to the film industry.

"Whether it is the Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast, to the viewers it makes no difference.

"And to be honest, the Sunshine Coast doesn't have the facilities for filming."

Andrew was confident production on the film would begin "by the end of the year" with the film ready for release in 2018.

The entertainment firm has spent the last four years working closely on a project Jessica Watson introduced them to.

 

Dev Patel arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Dev Patel arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Jordan Strauss

It was the story of a Saroo Brierly, the five-year-old India boy who got split from his brother Guddo and ended up on a train across the country.

He was ultimately adopted by an Australian couple and then 20 years later goes back in search of his family.

Jessica introduced Andrwe to Saroo and Sunstar acquired the rights to the amazing true story

The film, starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman was nominated for six Oscars, including best pictures and put Sunstar Entertainment on the map.

And with six Academy Award nominations, Sunstar Entertainment had a lot more clout when looking for finance to tell Jessica Watson's story, based on her book, True Spirit.

"We are going to try and do the same (as with Lion) with Jess's story now," Andrew said.

"We have a ripper script, it will be great to get it in production.

"When people see the film, they will see the side of the story of her voyage around the world that has never been told."

It has been seven years today, May 15, that Jessica Watson sailed into history by becoming the youngest person to sail single-handedly around the world in a 210-day journey of lifetime.

 

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Watson works with the rigging as she sails past the finish line at the entrance to Sydney Harbour in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, May 15, 2010, capping off a nearly 23,000 nautical mile voyage that many thought she wouldn't survive. Watson, from Buderim, Queensland, sailed out of Sydney on Oct. 18, despite protests from critics who said the trek was far too treacherous for someone so young. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Sixteen-year-old Jessica Watson works with the rigging as she sails past the finish line at the entrance to Sydney Harbour in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, May 15, 2010, capping off a nearly 23,000 nautical mile voyage that many thought she wouldn't survive. Watson, from Buderim, Queensland, sailed out of Sydney on Oct. 18, despite protests from critics who said the trek was far too treacherous for someone so young. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith) Rob Griffith

Her welcome into Sydney harbour was broadcast internationally and who could forget the moment she humbly disagreed with then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd when she told him she was just "an ordinary girl".

But the nearly 24-year-old, her birthday is on May 18, had forgotten it was the anniversary of the historic event when the Daily contacted her.

She was too busy waking up to a cold Melbourne morning and juggling the enormous amount of assignments required for her final year of her business MBA at the Australian Institute of Management.

 

Jessica Watson.
Jessica Watson. Facebook Jessica Watson

And she has been busy juggling other new projects too. She has written another book.

It's a "young adults" novel and, unlike her first best seller on her journey, this was fiction.

"I started it in the holidays when I had a little bit of time. It's a project I always wanted to do, but I had pegged it for later in life," she said

Hachette, the publisher of her first novel, True Spirit, has already agreed to publish her next book and it is due to be released in January.

"It's a short novel and involves a lit bit of sailing, but it is not about sailing," she said.

 

Jessica Watson announces her newest book.
Jessica Watson announces her newest book. Facebook Jessica Watson

Jessica has always had a love of books.

"I've always been inspired by books. It as a book that originally inspired my whole journey around the world," she said.

"It is something I love, stories are powerful. And if it can inspire young girls to take an interest in sailing..."

But she said her new novel wasn't "about sailing", although obviously there was some sailing involved.

Jess said she released being an author was a "tough industry" and she realised "how lucky I am".

"They have it down for an early next year launch," she said.

The hardest part had been coming up with a title.

"You would think that would be easy, but its not," she said.

Jessica said if she was in Brisbane today, "I would make the effort to visit Pink Lady".

Ella's Pink Lady is at the Queensland Maritime Museum in Brisbane.

Jessica's mum and dad, Roger and Julie, still live on the Sunshine Coast and it remains her "home from home".

She wasn't sure if she planned to return after finishing her studies.

"I don't know, I do love it down here (Melbourne). The Sunshine Coast is a place I come home too," she said

Jessica has also become involved with a start-up company called Deckee, which was like "trip advisor for boating".

And she was at last able to walk the streets without having people constantly stop and ask her for a signature.

"Yes, thankfully that has stopped, although it has always been a lovely, unique experience," she said.

"A lot of people still take a double look and wonder they've met me before.

"If somebody does recognise me, I go bright pink."


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