The Surfer: Nic Cage film shot in WA heads to Cannes

The Western Australia-shot thriller will make its world premiere at the 77th edition of the Festival de Cannes next month.

The Western Australian film The Surfer, starring Academy Award-winner Nicolas Cage, has been selected for this year’s Cannes.

Filmed entirely in Western Australia, the psychological thriller will make its world premiere at the 77th edition of the Festival de Cannes in May.

The Surfer was made possible thanks to the State Government’s WA Production Attraction Incentive, which is designed to attract high profile, market driven screen productions to the State.

Cage spent several weeks filming with a majority WA crew in Yallingup, known for its iconic beaches, in the South West of WA late last year.

‘This is a massive coup for the filmmakers and for Western Australia,’ said Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest CEO. ‘The Surfer is the first feature film produced in WA following the launch of the WA Production Attraction Incentive, and to see it selected for the most prestigious film festival in the world is an incredible outcome and achievement. Congratulations to WA producer James Grandison, Arenamedia, the cast, crew, creatives and the entire filmmaking team.’

Directed by Lorcan Finnegan (Vivarium) and written by Thomas Martin, The Surfer is described as ‘an intensely unnerving film that sees a man return to Australia to buy back his family home after many years in the US. He is humiliated in front of his teenage son by a group of local surfers who claim ownership over the secluded beach of his childhood.

‘Wounded, he defies them and remains at the beach, demanding acceptance. As the conflict escalates he is brought right to the edge of his sanity and his entire identity is thrown into question.’

Joining Cage is an Australian ensemble cast including Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck), Nicholas Cassim (Mr Inbetween), Miranda Tapsell (The Dry), Alexander Bertrand (Australian Gangster), Justin Rosniak (Last King of the Cross), Rahel Romahn (Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga), Finn Little (Yellowstone) and Charlotte Maggi (Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child on Fire).

The Surfer is an Australian/ Irish Co-Production and produced by Tea Shop Productions, Arenamedia, Lovely Productions and Gramercy Park Media with support from Screenwest through the Western Australian Production Attraction Incentive.

The film’s producer, Robert Connolly, has been behind a large number of projects in WA including Blueback, Sweet As, Paper Planes, The Turning and These Final Hours.

The Surfer is a Stan Original Film, in partnership with CinemaPlus who will be releasing the film theatrically in Australia.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites