Breath Feature Film

Simon Baker, Ben Spence and Samson Coulter in Breath.Simon Baker’s film of Tim Winton’s award-winning novel Breath, shot on location in Denmark, had its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in September.

The film is scheduled for release in Australian cinemas in May 2018.

Breath is among five Australian films selected for the Toronto festival, and is the only Australian film among 48 selections in the Contemporary World Cinema category.

Funding secured through the GSDC helped to clinch the decision to produce Breath in the Great Southern. Australian actor Simon Baker, who stars in The Mentalist, plays the lead role and is the film's director.

Breath is supported by $1.5 million in State Government funding through the GSDC and $800,000 through Screenwest.

Breath is the story of two teenage surfers, Pikelet and Loonie, growing up in a small south coast town called Sawyer. The teenagers are befriended by an older surfer, Sando, who leads them to take risks and meet challenges that change their lives.

Much of the filming took place in Denmark, a choice that was supported by Tim Winton.

"Denmark is a gem of a town with a unique community and it holds a very special place in my heart, so it’s a great pleasure to know it will host the making of Breath," Winton said. "I hope it reaps the benefits of having the production based there and that Simon’s film will show the rest of the world what they’re missing."

Breath won the 2009 Miles Franklin Award (Winton’s fourth) and the 2008 Age Book of the Year.

Winton’s positive words about Denmark were reflected by the producers of Breath. At the close of the shoot, as they departed for post-production work, the producers wrote a letter to the town that had hosted them for six weeks of filming.

"We were spoilt here, as you are every day, from the homes which were opened to us, to the extraordinary locations, to the finest food, wine and coffee the world has to offer," the letter said. "We have had a remarkable time, shot the best images we possibly could hope for, and look forward to returning to show you the film."

Alongside Simon Baker in the role of Sando, Breath features Elizabeth Debicki as Sando’s wife Eva, Samson Coulter as Pikelet and Ben Spence as Loonie, with Richard Roxburgh and Rachael Blake as Pikelet’s parents.

Breath was adapted for the screen by Gerard Lee (Top of the Lake), Tim Winton and Baker, who also co-produced with Oscar and Emmy Award–winning producer Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad) for Gran Via Productions and Jamie Hilton (The Little Death) for See Pictures.

Photo by Nic Duncan.

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