Help a true story inspire a new generation.

See your name in the credits for $27 or more, and... All Donations are Tax Deductible!

MANRY AT SEA ~ In the Wake of a Dream A Project of Documentaries

There is no dream so large, that it can't fit into a tiny boat.

Middle-aged newspaper editor, Robert Manry, a happily married father of two young children, secretly sets sail across the Atlantic in a tiny sailboat to pursue his boyhood dream, and sails into a media firestorm perpetrated by his employer.

Fantastic news!

Although I'm still racing to finish a few details of the movie, my film is "in the can" and has already received two early invitations from prestigious film festivals where the film will premiere in April, 2018.

20 years ago, I made a simple observation in one of the most loved books about sailing. Like many sailors, I have often reread "Tinkerbelle" by Robert Manry. It's a great adventure yarn with a message about never surrendering your dreams, and an inspiring roadmap of how to make your dreams come true. The appendix noted that Manry carried a 16mm movie camera on his voyage across the Atlantic. I wondered, "Where is the film?" So began a two-decades-long archival journey. Although Manry died in 1971, I eventually unearthed all of his surviving films, home movies, photographs, correspondence, and thousands of newspaper clippings, buried in the back of his brother's garage in Calgary, Alberta. I've since interviewed all of his surviving family and others involved in the story, many of whom are now deceased. Additionally, I've located virtually every foot of the extensive news coverage of Manry's voyage.

"Director and sailor Steve Wystrach's exhaustive research and inventive storytelling complement Manry's intimate documentation of Tinkerbelle's voyage, in an adventurous search for this unlikely American hero." – Chris Holland, Film Festival Secrets

It was summer, 1965, twilight of the analog age - color TV had just arrived, slide rules still ruled math, copper-bound telephones had dials, and sailors still found their way by sextant, sun and stars. Manry was a happy, middle-aged suburban family man who worked at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. His newspaper colleagues were shocked to learn that he had secretly set sail from Cape Cod, heading across 3,200 miles of open ocean to England - in his 13½-foot sloop, Tinkerbelle.

The film weaves several narrative strands into a vibrant story expressed as a song of the sea. The voyage is both adventure and metaphor - a searching portrait of a complex man, masked by his modesty and sense of humor. It's both a love story and a treatise on self-defining one's destiny - regardless of culture, class and finances - and achievement through simplicity, ingenuity and persistence. Plus, it comes with a dramatic twist of intrigue when the Plain Dealer's crosstown rival hatches an outlandish plot to track down Manry at sea and beat the PD to its own story. The race is on! Filled with high seas exploits, the film also faces tragedy, makes a provocative call to action, and reflects on the nature of dreams, and how their fulfillment is always quite different than anyone could have foreseen.

The film is now finished with a 2K digital cinema print, but it needs extensive film restoration because of 50 years of damage and decay of the original film. I'm seeking funds to cover the expense to restore the film - remove dirt and scratches so that the film shines on the silver screen and fulfill my own dream of presenting this amazing tale of an astonishing voyage of a reluctant American "everyman."

Here's our first film grant to help complete the film.
70 submissions, 10 semi-finalists, 4 winners

Awarded 5 April 2017
Had a fantastic response to our trailer and film pitch at
the 2017 American Documentary Film Festival.
Lots of great comments and feedback!
Go, Tinkerbelle, Go!

All donations are tax-deductible! Donate $27 (2 Tinks) and see your name in the end credits! Help hoist the sail on what one viewer called, "The feel good documentary of the century." Wow!

Visit the Robert Manry Project website...

Join Robert on a "lovely sunset sail" so we can take the film wide to festivals around the world, and I can meet you at the movies!

Menu of Perks

$13.50 or more… (A "Tink" - The redoubtable Tinkerbelle was 13½ feet long)

  • Our grateful "Thanks to" shout out on the website.

$27 or more… (2 "Tinks" - You're helping us get twice as far)

  • Our grateful "Thanks to" shout out on the website.
  • PLUS
  • Your name in the "Thanks to" film credits. First 100 donors (55 of 100 taken)

$52 or more… (Manry's voyage was 52 years ago)

  • Our grateful "Thanks to" shout out on the website.
  • Your name in the "Thanks to" film credits.
  • PLUS
  • An official set of "MANRY AT SEA" postcards.

$78 or more… (A $1 a day for each day of the voyage)

  • Our grateful "Thanks to" shout out on the website.
  • Your name in the "Thanks to" film credits.
  • An official set of "MANRY AT SEA" postcards.
  • PLUS
  • The expanded eBook of "Tinkerbelle," by Robert Manry.

$150 or more… (Super popular - Super value) 21 of 30 taken.

  • Our grateful "Special Thanks to" shout out on the website.
  • Your name in the "Special Thanks to" film credits.
  • An official set of "MANRY AT SEA" postcards.
  • The expanded eBook of "Tinkerbelle," by Robert Manry.
  • PLUS
  • A bookmark made from an archival newspaper clipping of the Tinkerbelle story. (Handmade. Rare. Each one unique. While they last.)
  • See the film first - Exclusive limited access streaming link.

$320 or more… (A $ a mile, about a tenth of the way) 3 of 10 taken.

  • Our grateful "Special Thanks to" shout out on the website.
  • Your name in the "Special Thanks to" film credits.
  • An official set of "MANRY AT SEA" postcards.
  • The expanded eBook of "Tinkerbelle," by Robert Manry.
  • A bookmark made from an archival newspaper clipping of the Tinkerbelle story. (Handmade. Rare. Each one unique. While they last.)
  • See the film first - Exclusive limited access streaming link.
  • PLUS
  • First Edition of "Tinkerbelle," by Robert Manry, inscribed by the director. (Rare. While they last!)

$601 or more… (Manry departed from Falmouth (Cape Cod) on June 1st) 3 of 5 taken.

  • Our "We Couldn't Have Done it Without the Generous Support of" shout out on the website.
  • Your name in the "We Couldn't Have Done it Without the Generous Support of" film credits.
  • An official set of "MANRY AT SEA" postcards.
  • The expanded eBook of "Tinkerbelle," by Robert Manry.
  • A bookmark made from an archival newspaper clipping of the Tinkerbelle story. (Handmade. Rare. Each one unique. While they last.)
  • See the film first - Exclusive limited access streaming link.
  • PLUS
  • First Edition of "Tinkerbelle," signed by Robert Manry and inscribed by the director. (Very Rare. While they last.)

$817 or more… (Tinkerbelle arrived in Falmouth (Cornwall) on August 17th)

  • A "We Couldn't Have Done it Without the Generous Support of" shout out on the website.
  • Your name in the "We Couldn't Have Done it Without the Generous Support of" film credits.
  • An official set of "MANRY AT SEA" postcards.
  • The expanded eBook of "Tinkerbelle," by Robert Manry.
  • A bookmark made from an archival newspaper clipping of the Tinkerbelle story. (Handmade. Rare. Each one unique. While they last.)
  • See the film first - Exclusive limited access streaming link.
  • First Edition of "Tinkerbelle," signed by Robert Manry and inscribed by the director. (Very Rare. While they last.)
  • PLUS
  • Get the film first - Exclusive Download link.

$1,000 or more… (Some people like big round numbers)

  • Contributions at this or higher levels will receive negotiable perks. Let's talk.

$1,965 or more… (Tinkerbelle's Atlantic adventure was in the summer of 1965)

  • Receive a "3 on a page" special shared credit

$3,200 or more… (Robert and Tink sailed 3,200 miles across the wide blue deep)

  • Receive a "2 on a page" special shared credit
Does your employer make matching contributions?

Donate by credit card at top of this page, or send check contributions to my 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor

From The Heart Productions

1455 Mandalay Beach Road
Oxnard, California 93035-2845

Please reference "MANRY AT SEA" in memo.


If you don't need a tax deduction, make a donation here - more money ends up on the screen!

Go to top of page

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About the Director

Steve Wystrach is a film editor and archivist. First bitten by the filmmaking bug in high school, Steve has practiced the art and science of motion picture editing and post-production for over four decades.

After graduating from Northwestern University, he began work in the commercial editing business in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles and opening his own post-production studio, Anchor Editorial, where his work garnered international awards, from Clios to Cannes.

Steve helped pioneer some key innovations in editing, post-production and archival method.

He wrote one of the first computer programs to translate film footage to video timecode in the early years of video post-production. When editing went digital, he was selected as an alpha and beta tester for AVID's first Media Composer.

He's had a long involvement with archival film work, and has personally rescued many millions of feet of priceless film from destruction. Along the way, he developed a novel date code chart used for accurately dating film.

He continues his work as a consultant to large film archives, and is the managing archivist of the US Borax Film Archives, which holds over 13,000 objects related to the vintage Death Valley Days television program (1952-1970). As part of that roll, he was executive producer of the recently completed film restoration of the entire 452-episode series on behalf of the Library of Congress.

About the editor


Steve Armstrong is an internationally renowned film editor with a shelf-full of trophies for his work in motion pictures, television and advertising. His documentary work includes a prestigious Slamdance premiere, and an Emmy nomination.

He has worked extensively as an editor and special effects designer while also managing A-list editing studios in both Los Angeles and Buenos Aires.

A diverse and talented artist, he has produced works of installation and performance art, filmmaking, music, multimedia, and writing, over the span of his career.

A perfectionist craftsman, he brings a probing, multi-layered insight to his work, tirelessly digging through the dailies in search of a better way to tease out the essence of a story. With a frame here and a snip there, he has a remarkable way of turning ordinary into eloquent.

About the composer

Chris Desmond (NARAS, SAG, AFM, AFTRA), is a versatile, classically trained composer, arranger, and producer with numerous credits in feature films, television, advertising and new media, and has worked extensively on a diverse range of award-winning US and international projects throughout his career.

He has produced, arranged and recorded music, including gold and platinum records, for labels such as A&M, Atlantic, Capitol and RSO, and with artists Michael Jackson, George Harrison, Al Stewart, Alan Parsons, Earth Wind & Fire, Diana Ross, and others.

Chris has performed professionally throughout his life, including live tours around the world in far-flung places such as the UK, Australia, France, Iran, China, Argentina, and India. He was a featured performer in concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. He's exceptionally well suited for scoring this project because of his intimate knowledge of orchestral and international folk music.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

$10,570 Raised
66% towards $16,000 Goal

Supported by 51 Donations:

  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    Great story and an amazing book. I read it years ago. Anna Melotti
  • Steven Hicks & David H.
    "Manry at Sea" is a great project, realized by a great guy and good friend!
  • Joseph G.
    I Gave $27
    I work on a tall ship and visitors are always saying "This is too small to cross the ocean!" Thank you Manry for showing that size isn't everything.
  • Andrzej M.
    I Gave $100
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
  • Kathryn M.
    From John, Robert’s little brother
  • Dorothe H.
    I Gave $250
    Manry at Sea
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
  • Darren & Dianne H.
    I Gave $100
  • Kim I.
    I Gave $27
    Small is beautiful!
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
  • Felix R.
    I Gave $100
    What an inspiring story, Steve!
  • Lara N.
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
  • Betty G.
    I Gave $27
  • Bruce L.
    Just a kid learning to sail when I heard Manry speak. Almost 50 years later, still sailing. Still have my original paperback copy of Tinkerbelle!
  • Robert B.
    I Gave $78
    While in Art School I read the paperback, Tinkerbelle. I still have the book, its pages yellowed and tattered. I now look forward to the movie.
  • Gail C.
    I Gave $100
    So many will enjoy seeing your film, including Doug and me. Thank you for taking time to tell me some of the story of how you made this film.
  • Kyle B.
    I Gave $320
  • Stan B.
    I Gave $100
    Stay the course, Steve!
  • Diane E.
    I Gave $601
  • David R.
    I Gave $27
  • Frank J.
    I Gave $51
    The desire to explore and discover what is beyond the horizon is an ageless quest and central to the human spirit. Robert Manry was an inspiration!
  • Shawn S.
    I Gave $51
    Inspired by Steve's focus and determination to finish this!
  • Muffy M.
    I Gave $100
    Never give up.
  • Leslie B.
  • Lindsay B.
    I Gave $50
  • David  W.
    I Gave $51
    David J. Weglicki
  • W. Patrick W.
    If you dream it, you can do it.
  • Ben J.
    I Gave $51