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Velvet Citizen

  • Lindsay Taylor Jackson , Director
  • Lindsay Taylor Jackson, Producer
  • Katy Haas, Producer
  • Garrett Beltis, Producer
  • Sarah Shufelt, Producer

an older White man in glasses and a knit cap stands on the deck of a sailboat

About the Project

To dream is an act of hope.

In Czechoslovakia, a young Jaroslav dreamed of sailing around the world. Living in a land-locked country, behind the Iron Curtain and Communist rule, Jaroslav began building his boat despite surrounding limitations. Now, at eighty, Jaroslav and the yacht he has spent the last forty years building in his yard, are ready for his dream to set sail.

His neighbor Omar observes, “We are always sailing in life, always in a new sea. We depend on things out of our control – in sailing – the wind, the sea, the storm, the night – that is life, you can’t control these [things]. You need to be ready to accept and adapt. And, through life, he keeps adapting and keeps going.”

Now, reaching the far end of his life, Jaroslav admits, “There is no next time because I am in it now.”

This is a story about hope, the journey towards greater freedom, and the wisdom learned along the way. This is Jaroslav’s story of sailing.

Director Lindsay Taylor Jackson has filmed three years with Jaroslav on his journey of a lifetime. Archival footage and photographs will help ground his backstory and expert interviews will provide historical context in addition to interviews with Jaroslav, his family and friends. This poetic and inspiring feature length documentary is not just about sailing; it is about hope and the power of perseverance, it is about freedom.