Drift and 9 Other Must-See Movies About Australian Surfing

Australia’s latest surf film Drift is inspired by the true events of the Kelly brothers, who kickstarted the modern surf gear industry.

From the look of the trailer, Aussie surf movie Drift has all the makings of a modest hit. Big Aussie names? Check: there’s Sam Worthington (Avatar), Myles Pollard (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Xavier Samuel (Twilight Eclipse) in the lead roles.

Big Aussie story? Yep: it’s based on true events in the 1970s, and follows the Kelly brothers who are credited for kickstarting the modern surf gear industry.

Xavier Samuel and Sam Worthington in Aussie surf movie Drift

Xavier Samuel and Myles Pollard play brothers in Aussie surf movie Drift

Despite Myles Pollard and Sam Worthington’s real life lookalike status (it’s actually hard to tell everyone apart in some of these film stills), Myles Pollard and Xavier Samuel are the ones playing brothers on screen this time (above). Worthington plays JB; no, I do not know who that is exactly but he sounds AWESOME. (From the trailer he seems to be some kind of surf photographer actually.)

Xavier Samuel in Aussie surf movie Drift

Sam Worthington is JB in Aussie surf movie Drift

Despite knowing little about it, I’m excited for Drift. Not long ago, I wrote an article in The Sunday Mail questioning the lack of Aussie surf movies being made since the likes of early ’70s classics Morning of the Earth and Crystal Voyager, followed by 1981’s Puberty Blues. I wrote it around the release of Newcastle (2008), the the coming-of-age drama which was Xavier Samuel’s first brush with surf (screen) culture, and his break-out role.

While a little on the dark side, at least Newcastle was a film that got stuck into surfing because other than a couple of docos, like 2007 Russell Crowe-narrated Bra Boys and last year’s epic adventure Storm Surfer 3D, it’s been a bit light on.

I mean hello, given our love of the waves and our internationally recognised wave rider talent (Steph Gilmore? Layne Beachley? Mark Occhilupo?) you’d think Australia would have that film genre tightly wrapped up by now. It seems that while America was busy churning out the likes of Point Break and Blue Crush, we were hung up on following tales from the Outback and gritty suburban streets. Drift is another step towards evening out that playing field.


Myles Pollard and Xavier Samuel in a scene from Aussie surf movie Drift


Drift Teaser Poster 2

Filmed in Worthington’s hometown of Perth (cue some wicked surf sequences), Drift is set in the early 1970s and is based on true events surrounding brothers Jimmy and Andy Kelly – who spend their youth searching for the perfect wave but out of necessity launch a backyard surf business. They start rethinking board design, crafting homemade wetsuits and selling their new surf gear out of their van.

The brothers battle killer waves, small town conservatism and hard-core criminals, daring to dream of a world where they can surf to live and live to surf. Rock on.

Drift comes courtesy of World Wide Mind Films and is set to release in cinemas across Australia on May 2.


10 Australian movies ABOut surfing

  • Storm Surfers 3D (2012)
  • Newcastle (2008)
  • Drift (2013)
  • Morning of the Earth (1971)
  • Puberty Blues (1981)
  • Crystal Voyager (1973)
  • Bra Boys (2007)
  • Uncharted Waters (2013)
  • Stephanie in the Water (2014)
  • Fighting Fear (2011)

Know some more good ones? Let me know in the comments below!

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The cinemazzi team dish up film chat from down under.

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