A $2.3 million investment by the WA Government has secured Denmark, a coastal town in the Great Southern region, as the location for the film adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel Breath.
Simon Baker will star in and direct the film with US producer Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad, The Notebook, Rain Man), and See Pictures' Jamie Hilton (The Little Death, The Waiting City, Backtrack).
Breath focuses on the lives of two teenage thrill-seeking boys. Hungry for discovery they form an unlikely bond with reclusive older surfer, Sando (Baker) and his mysterious wife. The boys are driven to take risks that will have a profound and lasting impact on their lives.
The screenwriting team includes Winton and Gerard Lee (co-writer of Top of the Lake). Palace will distribute in Australia and Arclight is handling international sales.
The Royalties for Regions program will contribute $1.5 million while ScreenWest will chip in $800,000.
Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said, "This State has an experienced screen industry and the international spotlight will well and truly be focused on them with Hollywood actor Simon Baker choosing Western Australia to make his feature film directorial debut.
“The majority of the key production creative and 100 crew will be West Australian. In addition, 150 Great Southern locals will be employed as actors, extras and surfing doubles.
“ScreenWest and the Great Southern Development Commission have worked closely with the film’s producers to sell the State’s attributes as a premier filming destination. I am thrilled that this iconic West Australian story will be filmed here.”
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the production would directly generate around $4.3 million, with further economic benefits expected to flow to the local community.
“Breath will create local jobs, directly benefit the local economy and showcase the Great Southern to the world,” Redman said.