coyote is a feature documentary about legendary american sailor, mike plant. Spanning the decade from his arrival in professional offshore sailing in the mid 80's, the film follows Plant's daring spirit as he challenges both Mother Nature - around the world alone on a sailboat - and French dominance in the sport. Chronically underfunded and undermanned, Plant's thirst for adventure and fearless belief in his dreams drive him to become an American hero of the sea. His wild blue eyes and boyish good looks make it hard to consider Plant's life before competitive sailing included a solo trek of South America, an escape from Interpol on a drug trafficking charge and time behind bars in a Portuguese prison. Yet, these exploits and others reveal the type of restless soul capable of conquering the world's oceans alone. Despite all that he accomplishes, Plant's heart is never satisfied. His final creation, Coyote, a radically designed vessel built on the edge of speed and safety, symbolizes Plant's course in life: running before the wind, always with an eye to the sea.

Mike Plant is as close as yachting gets to a James Dean character, going his own way in his own time, but always with an eye to the sea.
— The New York Times

thomas simmons <director>

Thomas was a young onlooker in Newport Harbor when his uncle, Mike Plant, appeared over the horizon and sailed to victory in the 1986-87 BOC Challenge, a singlehanded sailboat race around the world. Thirty years later, he has fulfilled his dream of sharing Mike's story on the screen. Thomas has navigated the course of his first feature film much like Plant campaigned his first circumnavigation - on the heels of zero experience, equipped with a core belief in the message it conveys to others: take a chance and face your dreams... life is a great adventure.

matthew walker <producer>

Matt has worked as a producer, director and cinematographer on a range of projects, including narrative and documentary feature films, major network series and pilots. Most recently, Matt directed The Art of the Game, which Forbes called a "provocative love letter to the video game industry." In 2013, Matt co-produced Muscle Shoals, a critically acclaimed documentary about a forgotten treasure in American music history.

ryan lynch <producer>

After crafting brand strategies for Fortune 500 companies on Madison Avenue, Ryan teamed up with Matthew Davis Walker to form production house, Story Developing. Most recently, the pair have been working with Pharrell Williams, Daniel Arsham and Jonah Bokaer on a unique feature that documents the process of creativity and collaboration in the name of art.

johnny decesare <dir. of photography>

once a former professional mogul skier and current avid surfer, johnny left the competitive ranks to devote his life to capturing the mind-blowing imagery of professional skiing and big wave surfing. in the last 20+ years, he has built his production company, poor boyz productions, into an award winning household name in the world of ski, surf and beyond.


DIRECTOR'S statement

I have always been drawn to individuals who have the courage to step out and pursue their dreams. As we know, it's easier said than done. In many ways, our minds are wired with contradiction about the path we choose in life: we are born to run free and chase our true desires, yet often feel compelled (by social influence, family pressures or the like) to trust a cage of commandments and follow the traditional course - a course that frequently leaves our true aspirations behind. 

When I was seven years old I watched my uncle, Mike Plant, sail into Newport, Rhode Island after 157 days at sea. Family and friends gathered aboard an old tug to watch him win the 1986-87 BOC Challenge, a singlehanded sailboat race around the world. He became my hero - and a hero in the eyes of many, especially those close to the American sailing community. Today, I recognize more than ever that Mike was an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. His story proves that we can all be dreamers of the day... that it's never too late to find your calling and chase something that you believe in. 

On the surface, some might see COYOTE as a film about an American sailing pioneer with a colorful past. To me, it's a universal story about dreams and the importance of finding the human fortitude to chase them at all costs.

- thomas simmons, director